COMMENTARY | Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia is proposing legislation that would repeal the current gas tax and replace lost revenue with an increase in the state's sales tax, from 5 percent to 5.8 percent. Because of the changing way Americans use fuel, be it with alternative fuel or fuel-efficient vehicles, the revenue associated with the fuel tax is beginning to stagnate, according to figures from the Tax Policy Center. Revenue from this legislation would provide much-needed funds for further construction and repair of the state's transportation infrastructure.
In Virginia, buying just one gallon of gas will cost you a 38.3-cent tax, a mixture of the state's gas tax of 17.5 cents-per-gallon, a 2.4-cent tax, and the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents-per-gallon. Nearly everyone dreads going to the pump, especially in my hometown of Centreville (which is in Northern Virginia, a very expensive place to live). Whether you buy 1 gallon or 15 gallons, you will pay that 38.3 cent-per-gallon tax.
That really puts Virginians in a bind when deciding to what to spend their money on.
This proposed legislation seems to be a step in the right direction. While I would love to see all taxes across the board be reduced or slashed (keeping more money in the pockets of citizens), it is the small, incremental victories that add up to accomplished goals. One goal would be to see Virginia not have an income tax.
Now, there are those that believe that this legislation is a bad idea. But the most important part of this debate is that the point of lowering taxes is addressed. That is one of my hopes for Virginia: to see all or most taxes either get lowered, or better yet, eliminated. Doing so would leave more money in the pockets of Virginians, better stimulating the economy.