Senator Saslaw Criticizes Republican Transportation Plan
SB1355 is a bad deal for Virginia
Richmond, VA – Yesterday Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw (35th District) voiced his strong opposition to SB 1355 during a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee. Saslaw compared the bill to putting a mink coat on a pig and questioned why the Senate Republicans failed to improve the bill in committee.
SB 1355 will eliminate the gas tax, which goes directly to fund Virginia’s transportation needs and ensures that those using the roads are paying to maintain them. In its current form, the bill will raise the state sales tax and force Virginia consumers to make up the funding shortfall.
“This bill is like putting a mink coat on a pig,” said Senator Saslaw. “We need to be honest with Virginians about what this bill really does. This is nowhere near what we need to solve our transportation problems and undermines any attempt at a long-term solution. This proposal will force all Virginians to pay more and give a free ride to out-of-state drivers who will no longer have to pay the gas tax.”
The proposed legislation will provide a tax break to out-of-state drivers, who account for 30% of the miles traveled on Virginia’s roadways. Additionally, SB1355 will place the burden of transportation funding squarely on the shoulders of Virginians through an increase in the sales tax. Those who do not currently drive or own a car will be hit the hardest.