Gov. Bob McDonnell has signaled his support for an adjustment to the state gas tax to provide more revenue for transportation improvements. Grover Norquist, the man behind the no-tax pledge, has a message for McDonnell and other Republicans who might be thinking of moving with the GOP governor in favor of higher gas taxes.
“For those members of the Virginia Legislature who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, voting to index the gas tax to inflation, without any complete offsets, would be in clear violation of the promise you made to your commitments and the people of Virginia to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
A letter signed by Norquist expressing these sentiments was handed out to those in attendance at the Republican Advance in Virginia Beach this weekend.
Virginia’s state gas tax is 17.5 cents per gallon, and the total cost for taxes to consumers in Virginia is 38.5 cents per gallon, nearly 11 cents below the national average.
Gas taxes provide revenues for transportation improvements. The state tax rate hasn’t been adjusted since 1986.
McDonnell has said he will look at “whether or not it makes sense” to adjust the rate and index it to inflation in the upcoming General Assembly session.
“Increasing the gas tax by indexing it to inflation is a bad business practice for Virginia. The transportation woes Virginia faces are not because of the gax tax. Richmond has spent too much money; in other words, it’s a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” Norquist said in his letter distributed at the Advance over the weekend.