Todd Allen Wilson
9:18 AM PST, March 8, 2013
In light of his staunch opposition to the comprehensive transportation funding package passed by the General Assembly last month Democrats want to know whether Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli plans to try and repeal provisions of the bill should he be elected governor.
State Sen. Don McEachin, D-Henrico, said in a press call with reporters Friday that as the presumptive Republican nominee for governor Cuccinelli owes Virginians an answer to the question.
The transportation deal – expected to be signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell – swaps the state’s 17.5 cent-per-gallon gasoline tax for a 3.5 percent wholesale gas tax and raises the state sales tax to 5.3 percent. It increases the motor vehicle tax to 4.3 percent and includes a $100 annual fee on alternative fuel vehicles. The plan also includes a regional component that raises the sales tax to 6 percent in Hampton Roads and the wholesale gas tax to 5.6 percent.
Cuccinelli has panned the deal – which is expected to raise more than $1 billion a year for the state’s underfunded transportation infrastructure by 2018 - as a massive tax increase.
McEachin said many of the projects the new funds would finance take will take many years to complete and could be stopped part way through should Cuccinelli dismantle the legislation if he takes office.
“This creates a dangerously uncertain situation for the future of transportation funding in Virginia,” McEachin said. “Virginians need and deserve a governor who will put what’s best for the commonwealth ahead of his personal, ideological agenda. If Ken Cuccinelli can’t do that, he should at least level with Virginians and tell them whether or not his open opposition to the bipartisan transportation funding package means he would try to repeal or dismantle it upon taking office.”
Cuccinelli campaign spokeswoman Anna Nix said until McDonnell signs the bill and the General Assmebly approves or rejects any changes he might make the future of the legislation is still uncertain.
"We do know that regardless of the final bill there is more work to be done to address our serious transportation issues, especially in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads," Nix said. "After the veto session, Attorney General Cuccinelli will continue to discuss his comprehensive plans to tackle the fundamentals of Virginia's transportation problems."
Copyright © 2013, Newport News, Va., Daily Press