Hampton Roads chamber endorses McDonnell’s roads plan
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, representing nearly 2,000 companies that employ more than 280,000 individuals in 17 cities and counties in Southeast Virginia, has endorsed “Virginia’s Road to the Future”, the comprehensive, long-term transportation funding plan proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell.
“Current levels of congestion outside and within our region have placed business growth, tourism, port growth and our military facilities at risk,” said Jack Hornbeck Jr., speaking on behalf of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.
“The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce applauds Governor McDonnell’s leadership in offering legislation that from our perspective will address what has been the Chamber’s top legislative priority for many years. The tenets of the proposed legislation appear to be aligned with our funding principles, which are:
• Broad-based, long-term, and efficient to collect
• Sourced from all ultimate consumers including those in-state, out-of-state, wholesalers, retailers, and users of products and services moved over the transportation grid designed to encourage smart transportation grid use and development
• Enable everyone to pay their fair share.
“We look forward to working with Governor McDonnell and members of both parties in the House and Senate as this legislation is considered during the 2013 session of the Virginia General Assembly. This is an important first step to fund the long-term transportation needs of Hampton Roads.”
McDonnell’s plan will provide more than $3.1 billion in transportation funding for the Commonwealth over the next 5 years, including $1.8 billion for new construction. It will end the state’s crossover issue, in which money meant for construction is currently diverted to simple maintenance. The plan ties future transportation funding to economic growth and makes Virginia the first state in the nation to eliminate its gas tax, a rapidly declining revenue source.