The Eno Center for Transportation, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the George Mason University’s School of Public Policy held a forum on Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s Transportation Funding Proposal.
Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell has proposed that the Commonwealth eliminate the state gasoline tax, as a source of funding for transportation, and replace it with an increase in the state’s general sales tax. For the last several decades transportation funding in the U.S. has been based on the principle that users who benefit from the system should pay the costs of the system, primarily through gasoline taxes. Even though the gasoline tax has been stagnant or even declining as a revenue source, and is a less effective proxy for use today than it once was, few policymakers have been as open and direct as McDonnell in proposing that general taxpayers should pay for transportation infrastructure and operations. The panel discussed the specifics of the Virginia proposal, as well as broader issues of transportation funding and the efficacy of the user-pay or utility model for transportation.
The Honorable Sean Connaughton
Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Virginia
Of Counsel, Covington & Burling LLP
Assistant Professor and Director for the Center of State and Local Leadership, George Mason University
Director of Cities and Transportation in the Energy and Climate Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Professor & Associate Dean for Research, George Mason University School of Public Policy