11th-Hour Senate Overhaul to Va Gov's Plan Emerges

By: Virginia AP Email
By: Virginia AP Email

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Senate conservatives have offered sweeping changes to Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation funding reforms one day ahead of a critical legislative deadline.

The most substantial change in legislation that would pre-empt the Republican governor's legacy initiative applies a 5.5 percent sales tax to gasoline and scraps McDonnell's proposed overall sales tax increase from 5 percent to 5.8 percent.

Like McDonnell's bill, it eliminates the 17 1/2 cents-per-gallon gasoline tax. It also anticipates collections of state sales taxes on Internet and catalog sales provided Congress passes legislation authorizing it.

Unlike the governor's initiative, the bill by Republican Sen. Steve Newman of Lynchburg would prohibit tolls on interstate highways without legislative approval.

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