UPDATE: Senate Gas Tax Plan
THIS ONE’S A STRAIGHT-UP TAX HIKE[Update: A quick side-by-side comparison of Senate and House bills is available here.]
This morning the Senate Finance subcommittee took up H.3516, the gas tax hike legislation that passed the House last week. Sen. Vincent Sheheen proposed a strike-and-replace amendment, which was adopted as the “working document” with which the Senate will move forward. This amendment raises the gas tax by 12 cents (2 cents over the next six years) instead of the 10-cent hike in the House version. The amendment retained the numerous additional fees and fee increases, as well as the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) funding in the original bill.
The amendment also deleted the DOT governance reforms in the original House legislation, making this bill as it currently stands a clean tax hike. Sen. Tom Davis proposed several reform amendments, one of which would have eliminated the DOT Commission and the STIB. These were all either tabled or carried over.
On Tuesday, meanwhile, in a House hearing for a forthcoming bond bill, DOT asked for over $43 million of bond revenue – not to fix roads, but to renovate rest areas.