Business groups support tax increases for transportation

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Jessica Sabbath

A group of state and regional business groups have said they support higher taxes for transportation.

In a letter to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, 25 groups said they want an additional $1 billion spent each year on transportation construction and maintenance. The business groups said they would support an increase in the gasoline tax or an increase in the general sales tax of up to 1 percent, or a combination of the two. The state’s sales tax is currently 5 percent.

“We believe the commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure is a critical component of its economic success and the quality of life of all Virginians,” the letter stated.

The organizations said the money should be in addition to fixing the regional transportation plans that were stuck down by the Virginia Supreme Court this year. Those plans would have raised money for Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia through regional taxes.

The letter was signed by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and organizations representing the construction, real estate and insurance industries. Many regional chambers of commerce also signed.

Kaine is supposed to introduce a transportation plan next week. He is expected to call the General Assembly for a special session to meet on transportation in June.

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