CLARKE COUNTY, VA- $880 million a year. That's about how much money Virginia will be putting into its transportation systems now that the controversial transportation funding bill has passed.
It's the first long-term transportation funding plan the state has had in 27 years, Governor McDonnell says.
The bill is designed to bring in revenue to repair and improve Virginia's transportation networks by both raising and lowering taxes. It will increase the statewide sales tax from 5.0 percent to 5.3 percent, an increase that some locals are against.
"You know everybody is in a crunch for money," says John Gardner. "If they keep raising taxes and gas prices keep going up, it's just going to make the middle class people more and more poor."
The plan will increase the tax on car titles and add a $100 registration fee for hybrid cars. On the other hand it reduces the states gas tax. It replaces the 17.5 cents a gallon retail tax with a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gas. It also adds a 6 percent levy on diesel.
The bill passed the Senate, Saturday, after an agreement that Governor McDonnell would not block medicaid expansion for uninsured Virginians in poverty. If signed, as expected, the bill will go into effect July 1, 2013.