Virginia’s future prosperity depends upon the Commonwealth having a 21st Century transportation system. Growing up in Fairfax County, and later representing Virginia Beach in the House of Delegates, I have seen firsthand the transportation challenges that we face. I believe it is imperative we modernize and improve the transportation system in the Commonwealth, and I know the Governor believes this as well. While I have worked closely and in agreement with the Governor on many important reforms for our citizens, I cannot support the Governor’s tax and spend philosophy as outlined in his transportation plan.
I seriously have no idea of what to do about the transportation crisis, and I thank God every morning that it’s not my problem.
The Governor did not make his transportation plan available to Republicans until today so I am still reviewing the details.
I am utterly unnecessary in this process.
Through all the conversations, negotiations, and debate of the past several years, the Governor has continued to rely on his belief in higher taxes with increased spending, going to the same government bureaucracies that have not delivered transportation services efficiently.
Governor Kaine thinks that we must make money to have money if we want to buy stuff. I disagree, for reasons that are really much too complex for me to explain right now, so you’ll have to trust me on this. But I’ll give you a hint: Alf Broaddus gave me his old key to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. I’ll say no more.
Further, it is unfortunate that the Governor’s plan relies on regressive taxes that place a disproportionate burden on lower and middle-class citizens.
We must raise taxes on the wealthy.
Wait. Did I say that out loud?
What has been absolutely ignored is last year’s historic increase in transportation funding. The General Assembly passed bipartisan legislation that provided for the largest infusion of new statewide funding for transportation in 22 years, and did so without a statewide tax increase.
There is no transportation crisis. I have no idea what you people are complaining about.
Why is there no discussion of increased use of public-private partnerships in the Governor’s plan? Since the revamping of the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act in 1995, it has been woefully underutilized. Why not let willing private road contractors take more of the financial risk, and, equally, gain more of the financial rewards of building infrastructure in Virginia? Where is the vast new statewide money from last year going? Why does the Governor believe that voters will now trust that money raised by a sales tax increase in Hampton Roads, but sent to Richmond, will actually come back to them in full? With the maintenance deficit and cost overruns being such a concern, why is there no provision to improve the efficiency of VDOT? Why is there no focus on dedicating new revenues to projects with proven ability to relieve congestion? Why are congestion pricing, tolls, and other free-market solutions not being considered?
I am not aware of the most basic facts about the state’s budgeting process, and honestly, I basically slept through Mark Warner’s administration. So if somebody could refresh me here, I’d be grateful.
There is no justification for a statewide tax increase.
Oh. My. God. I am so glad I don’t have to come up with a plan of my own. Because I’ve got nothing here. We’re all keeping our fingers and toes crossed that Kaine licks this thing before the 2009 election season gets underway.