Drivers Talk about Proposed Gas Tax Elimination

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing to eliminate the gas tax.

For some drivers, like Edward Morgret that's good news. He's from West Virginia, but he lives close to Virginia. That's where he gets his gas.

"It's cheaper already, but it would benefit me even more if I can get gas cheaper,” said Morgret.

Instead of paying gas tax, people will pay extra in sales tax. The proposal would increase sales tax from 5 percent to 5.8 percent.

Morgret said West Virginia sales tax is higher than that.

“It's not gonna raise the purchase of items that much."

The new tax would mean a receipt totaling $73 without taxes is $76.65 with the 5 percent sale tax. If the sales tax increased to 5.8 percent, you would pay $77.24.

Robert Alderman, who drives a truck, said he wouldn't mind paying more sales tax, but under Gov. McDonnell's proposal, trucks would still have to pay the 17.5 percent gas tax.

"I'm basically getting worked over two ways,” said Alderman, “Basically when I have to put fuel in the truck and basically when I go buy out something. I don't see that being too fair."

A member of McDonnell's staff said most trucks that drive on Virginia highways are not from the area. He said those drivers should pay a higher tax because they damage roads.

Alderman said the proposal singles out one group.

“If it's one of those things where I might do it here but then other group of people don't have to worry paying an extra tax on something. I feel like I'm getting kinda screwed.”

Political Science Professor Bob Roberts said the General Assembly would have to approve the measure for it to get passed. He said there's a lot of opposition, but there are also parts of northern Virginia, which are struggling without transportation money.

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