Virginia Senate passes transportation bill with increased sales taxes

(AP/ABC7) - The state Senate has passed the first long-term reform to Virginia's floundering 27-year-old system for funding repairs and upkeep of its 58,000-mile network of highways.

The 25-15 vote sends to Gov. Bob McDonnell what would be the defining policy legacy in the fourth and final year of the single, non-renewable term Virginia allows its governors.

Democrats voted 17-3 to pass the bill. Eight Republicans voted in favor, 12 voted against.

It would replace Virginia's 17 1/2 cents-per-gallon retail gasoline tax with a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gasoline and a 6 percent levy on diesel fuel.

It boosts statewide sales taxes from 5 percent to 5.3 percent. It increases the titling tax on car sales and adds a $100 registration fee for fuel-sipping hybrid vehicles. It also rules out proposed tolls on Interstate 95 south of Petersburg.

Voting yes were 17 Democrats and eight Republicans. Voting no were three Democrats and 12 Republicans. A yes vote is in favor of final legislative passage, sending the measure to Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Senators are grouped according to their votes by party and listed alphabetically by their home locality.


Democrats (17)

Kenneth C. Alexander, Norfolk; George L. Barker, Fairfax County; Charles J. Colgan, Prince William; R. Creigh Deeds, Bath County; John S. Edwards, Roanoke; Barbara A. Favola, Arlington; Mark R. Herring, Loudoun; Janet D. Howell, Fairfax County; Mamie E. Locke, Hampton; L. Louise Lucas, Portsmouth; David W. Marsden, Fairfax County; A. Donald McEachin, Henrico; John C. Miller, Newport News; Ralph S. Northam, Norfolk; Phillip P. Puckett, Russell; Linda T. Puller, Fairfax County and Richard L. Saslaw, Fairfax County.

Republicans (8)

Harry B. Blevins, Chesapeake; Charles W. Carrico, Sr., Grayson; Jeffrey L. McWaters, Virginia Beach; Thomas K. Norment, Jr., James City County; Frank M. Ruff, Jr., Mecklenburg; Walter A. Stosch, Henrico; Frank W. Wagner, Virginia Beach; John Watkins, Powhatan.


Democrats (3)

Adam P. Ebbin, Alexandria; Henry L. Marsh, III, Richmond and J. Chapman Petersen, Fairfax city.

Republicans (12)

Richard H. Black, Loudoun; Thomas A. Garrett, Jr., Louisa; Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., Augusta; Stephen H. Martin, Chesterfield; Ryan T. McDougle, Hanover; Stephen D. Newman, Lynchburg; Mark D. Obenshain, Harrisonburg; Bryce E. Reeves, Spotsylvania; Ralph K. Smith, Roanoke County; William M. Stanley, Jr., Franklin County; Richard H. Stuart, Stafford and Jill Holtzman Vogel, Winchester.

Source for voting record: Senate of Virginia.