Weighing in on Transportation Funding

Apr 12, 2013

While Virginians wait for the dust to settle and lawmakers breathe a sigh of relief that the transportation funding battle is over, the nonprofit Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis has combed through the rubble to examine its effects. 

Commonwealth Institute President Michael Cassidy says one finding is that low-income people will pay more—in part, due to higher sales taxes.
"People earning less than $21,000 a year are going to pay three to six times more of their income in the new taxes including in this package than people with incomes at the top of the income bracket," said Cassidy.
But how much more people pay varies in the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regional plans. 
Cassidy says the wholesale-gas tax swap will cost the state $850-million.
He also says Virginia is taking a big bet on Congress allowing states to require sales taxes on online purchases. Finally, Cassidy says schools get a one-time bump, but much new funding is not guaranteed.