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Va. governor's transportation bill moves forward

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm •  Published: January 23, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation funding bill has cleared its first hurdles in the General Assembly, but it still has a long way to go.

The Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday advanced the five-year, $3.1 billion funding package to the Finance Committee.

In the House Finance Committee, which clears tax and revenue legislation, more than a dozen transportation-related bills were either rolled into McDonnell's package or tabled, clearing the tracks in the overwhelmingly Republican House for the Republican governor's legacy legislative priority.

McDonnell's bill would eliminate the state's 17.5-cent per gallon gas tax and replace it with a sales tax increase of less than a penny on the dollar. It also imposes a $100 fee on fuel-stingy hybrid cars.

The tax on diesel fuel remains. And part of the funding scheme relies on Congress passing a law mandating state sales tax collections for online purchases.

Democratic Sen. Dave Marsden of Fairfax County questioned whether Virginians would really see a 17½-cent decrease in prices at the pump after the gas tax is eliminated.

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