Where's the Money?

By: Susan Bahorich
By: Susan Bahorich

Solutions to the state's budget problems may be on the horizon.

Tuesday, the governor announced no cuts to school funding. Wednesday, some local lawmakers talked about other ways to find the money, and some could cost you.

Legislators spelled it out for business leaders from around Harrisonburg and Rockingham County as they gathered for the annual Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast.

According to the men, Virginia is not speeding out of control, but something needs to be done. Suggestions ranged from a sin tax on cigarettes and alcohol, to increasing the fuel tax.

"We have not had a motor fuel tax increase since 1986 when it went to 17 1/2 cents a gallon, which is four, five, or six cents a gallon less than our neighboring states," said Senator Kevin Miller.

And, if money can't be generated through taxes, a toll road hasn't been ruled out.

"It's a user fee strictly defined in the dictionary and I think an overall gas tax is punitive for those who don't use interstates where most of the construction costs are born," said Delegate Chris Saxman.

Lawmakers will return to Richmond on Jan. 8 to kick off the General Assembly session and tackle the budget.


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