What Will We Get for that Transportation Tax Increase?

by James A. Bacon

So much nonsense, so little time… Let us now take a close look at Governor Bob McDonnell’s argument that Virginia needs to raise tax revenues so we can construct new transportation projects… so we can ameliorate horrendous congestion costs that are costing Virginians billions of dollars per year.

Here’s what the governor had to say in a Wednesday press release:

Just this month, the Texas Transportation Institute released a new study finding that our growing immobility has made the Northern Virginia/Washington region America’s most congested area. Virginia Beach is America’s 20th worst. Richmond, the 60th. The inability of Virginians to move quickly around their neighborhoods and cities comes with a major financial price tag. The Institute estimates our congestion costs drivers in Northern Virginia $1,400 a year. It costs drivers in Virginia Beach $877 per year and drivers in Richmond $581 per year. The bipartisan failure to address our transportation needs for almost three decades has cost every citizen of this state thousands of dollars, and countless hours of time that could have been spent at home and at work.

Add up all the numbers, and it appears that congestion is costing Virginia’s three largest metro areas $2.9 billion a year. As those are the three regions with the largest populations and the worst congestion, we can round off total congestion for the state to about $3 billion. That sounds like a lot of money. Why wouldn’t Virginians be willing to pay a little more in taxes to whittle down that number?

The compromise tax proposal, if fully implemented, would raise about $860 million annually. That sounds like a lot of money, too. How much congestion relief would it buy us?

That’s hard to say with any certainty, but follow my logic here. According to a document posted on the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) website, the total value of Virginia’s roads and highways amounted to $353 billion in 2000. That’s just the road network, not including any rail assets. It doesn’t count the billions of dollars of assets added since then — the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the Interstate 95-Capital Beltway Mixing Bowl. Nor does it account for the fact that highway-construction inflation has been 12% to 15% since then, which would imply a higher replacement value for those assets. But let’s accept it as an extremely conservative valuation.

Now, let’s say the state invests that $860 million a year. That $860 million will increase the asset value of Virginia’s transportation infrastructure by about 0.2% per year. That’s two-tenths of one percent.

Now, let’s assume that the state targets genuine congestion-mitigation projects, not speculative economic development projects like the $1.4 billion U.S. 460 Connector or political pay-offs like the Charlottesville Bypass. And let’s assume that the dollars are allocated to the highway districts that suffer the worst congestion, not distributed to districts in proportion to which they paid the taxes. Let’s further assume that the new tax revenues add incrementally to the valuation of assets in the most congested areas of the state by 0.3% annually (not a mere 0.2%).

Now, let us give that spending a multiplier, on the grounds that taking one percent of the cars off a crowded road will reduce the level of congestion by a factor of two or more. For simplicity’s sake, we will pretend that the phenomenon of “induced demand,” in which building more roads induces more driving, does not even exist. Let’s assume that a 0.3% increase in the valuation of VDOT assets leads to a 0.6% decrease in congestion.

What is that 0.6% reduction in congestion worth to Virginia drivers? Well, six-tenths of one percent of $3 billion is about $18 million. In other words, Virginians will spend $860 million a year to save $18 million in congestion costs. That represents a 2.1% Return on Investment.

Think of it this way, if my assumptions are close to the mark, the state would take your tax dollars and reinvest them in transportation projects that would yield you 2.1 pennies on the dollar in the form of reduced congestion. Even in Ben Bernanke’s super-low interest-rate environment, that return would suck. You could double or triple the return on your money just by pre-paying your mortgage!

Finally, let’s dig a little deeper and ask ourselves, whom does that spending benefit? It benefits drivers who place the greatest value on their time, in other words, those who earn the most money. Raising taxes to build more roads benefits the affluent far more than the middle class and working class. It also benefits those who drive a lot at the expense of those who drive only a little or not at all. There is a reason why there is no clamor among the populace for this tax increase — most people see minimal benefit from it. There is a reason why the special interests are driving this tax increase forward. They expect to reap the spoils.

27 Responses to What Will We Get for that Transportation Tax Increase?

  1. Extending the presumptions in that well-presented logic, Virginia should stop doing anything at all for transportation. No maintenance, no improvements. I can’t imagine you are advocating that.

    • RVAGates:

      You are completely correct. The gas tax in Virginia is frozen in cents per gallon. It doesn’t matter what the cost of gasoline may be. It doesn’t matter how much inflation in road building and maintenance there may be. It has been at the same rate per gallon since 1986. Today, only Alaska has a gas tax that has been frozen longer than Virginia’s. Meanwhile, the cost of labor and materials for road construction and maintenance have been inflating steadily since 1986. The purchasing power of a dollar of gas tax today is less than half of what it was in 1986.

      For all my friend Jim’s hyperventilating, he can’t escape those facts. He also can’t escape the fact that the problem gets worse and worse as the gas tax remains frozen and inflation marches on.

      There have been proposals to index the gas tax to inflation. One was made by State Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) in the 2012 session. The Republicans quickly beat it down. Of course, it goes without saying that the Republicans in the General Assembly had no alternative of their own other than unspecified “belt tightening”.

      Governor McDonnell has seen the writing on the wall during his 3+ years as our governor. First, he found unallocated funds in VDOT and spent them. Good for him. Then, he borrowed up to the limit. Good for him. Then, he proposed very expensive tolls in places like Tidewater. Uh oh! People began to ask why they have to pay sky high tolls when 99% of the residents of Virginia “drive for free”. The answer essentially came back – because the gas tax is frozen in cents per gallon while the costs of road construction and maintenance are inflating. People asked what other states do about this. They found that 48 other states have raised their gas tax since 1986. They asked why Virginia didn’t do this and were told it was because the Republicans blocked the idea.

      Bob McDonnell, being about 30 IQ points ahead of the average RPV member, knew he had to do something. If he didn’t act the Republicans would lose ground in Virginia even faster than they have been losing ground (if you can imagine that). So, he acted. In fact, he pulled a “Chris Christie” and reached across the aisle in the manner of a true leader. Chris Christie’s approval rating is 74%. Bob McDonnell is not far behind.

      Of course the Tea Party went into Yosemite Sam mode figuratively (and perhaps literally) drawing their two side ams and firing into the air. It makes a lot of noise but they’ll eventually run out of bullets and move on to trans-vaginal ultrasounds, Virginia’s own currency or some other critical idea.

  2. No, I’m not arguing that we invest nothing in transportation. But I am suggesting that transportation projects have reached the point of diminishing returns and that we have to be really selective about which projects we fund. I see no evidence that we are being selective. I think we’re still throwing money at project, crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.

  3. Seeing you RPV types grow increasingly desperate as your own Republican governor finally does something about transportation funding is entertaining. Oddly, the liberal blogs are beginning to settle down to whiny acceptance of this proposal. I hear even Creigh Deeds stole my “perfect is the enemy of good” quote and used it in reference to this proposal.

    It’s only the right wingnuts who continue to scramble in what sounds like an ever more shrill attempt to french kiss the ghost of Grover Norquist.

    I say that your arguments have become entertaining because you are breaking new ground in your posts. This post actually uses the @DJRippert technique of “death by numbers”. A good first effort in that genre but sit back and learn from the master …

    “Logic”:

    1. The cost of a double coronary bypass is approximately $75,000.
    2. A human heart weighs nine ounces for a healthy adult woman and 10.5 ounces for a healthy adult man. Let’s use 10 oz as an average.
    3. The average weight of an adult American is 176 pounds or 2,816 ounces.
    4. The heart comprises only 4/10ths of 1 percent of a human’s weight.
    5. Let’s assume that the heart is important and forget that coronary bypass sometimes results in death and allow that an improvement to the heart is twice as valuable to an improvement to the average organ.
    6. So, we are spending $75,000 to improve the person by less than one percent every time we do a coronary bypass?

    Finally, let’s dig a little deeper and ask ourselves, whom does that spending benefit? It benefits people who still have a lot of beats left in their hearts. That’s because the $75,000 is spread over a greater number of beats lowering the per-beat price of the bypass. Coronary bypass surgery benefits children far more than adults. It also benefits those whose hearts beat a lot at the expense of those whose hearts beat slowly or those who don’t have hearts (conservative bloggers, for example). There is a reason why the populace is not clamoring for coronary bypass operations – most people see minimal benefit from it. There is a reason why the special interests are driving the need for this operation. They expect to reap the spoils.

  4. Don, you are a cut-up!

    What I’m really trying to do is introduce a way of thinking that has been absent from the discourse. If someone can provide better-documented assumptions to plug into my spreadsheet, I’d be happy to use them. I’m willing to admit that better data will prove me wrong.

    What I can say with certainty is that no one in the McDonnell administration or the General Assembly is conducting an exercise anything remotely like the one I described. They are flying blind. Sounds like you’re OK with that.

    Do you run your business that way?

    • I honestly agree with your way of thinking. There should be better ROI calculations for new road construction. People who drive more should pay more.

      All well and good.

      But you are several rungs up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs from the General Assembly.

      You are working toward self-actualization and they are trying to find food, water and shelter.

      You also miss the governance aspect. Having a single term governor is a huge problem. No other state does this. None. To get the kind of program in place you desire requires two terms. Or, alternately, it requires strict term limits on the legislature. Instead we have the shortest tenure for our governor in America and no tenure for our legislators.

      No governor has enough time in office to get up your version of Maslow’s pyramid of needs and the legislators stay in office forever.

      Now, add in off year elections, Dillon’s Rule, being the state with the most arduous process to get on the ballot, a legislature that elects the judiciary, no fairness commission for redistricting, etc, etc.

      Virginia’s system of government (as implemented in the constitutional rewrite of 1970) is simply unmotivated and unwilling to press your sensible plans forward.

      So, we have the McDonnell compromise or we have nothing.

      You wishing for transportation self-actualization under Virginia’s present governance structure is like me wishing to play safety for the Redskins. Nice daydreams but nothing to pin the future on.

  5. We need the extra money, but it’s still criminal the average driver will see absolutely nothing for the higher taxes.

  6. Actually Bacons ruminations got me to thinking (knowing full well that other may call it something else).

    If congestion it the metric for justifying more dollars, should we expect to see congestion reduction as a result of more spending?

    or what?

    how about a chart of how much we spend per year on maintenance?

    what would that chart look like?

    how about a congestion chart for NOVA for the last 1o years?

    what is the trend and slope of the curve?

    I think the thing that makes many uncomfortable with new transportation spending is that it’s sold on certain premises but not a person tells us that we will be able to measure the benefit from the additional spending ( or if you want to make the stimulus type argument – how much is congestion reduced – travel time saved – for the added dollars?

    but I also point out: the dollars we spend for transportation in terms of demonstrated efficacy is a different argument than how the money is raised.

    and if you actually want a silver lining to spending general revenues for transportation – it might well be that when someone proposes a new highway that it will be asked what kind of highway – toll or “free” or perhaps transit or road should be evaluated.

  7. Living in Northern Virginia ever since I moved here from Miami, Florida in the early 1990s, my wife and I have never quite understood the fascination with road building in these parts. South Florida went through a “road boom” of sorts before I moved here. Traffic is still the same, if not worse — in both places.

    We’ve visited more 3/4 of Virginia counties since 1992. There is so much potential here for growth, but somehow, the state remains oddly disheveled about it. Rather than build on our state’s unique character, we balkanize by regions and issues.

    I have no problem building more roads, but neither party has advanced a logical argument to do so. A bigger issue than road building is state budgeting. And to fix the state budget, or at least make it more responsive to new challenges, we first need to get over this Northern Virginia vs the rest of the Commonwealth mindset that seems to poison all public policy debates, including this road/gas tax debate.

    This business with the gas tax repeal and local tax scheme — a GOP tax two-step — is a bad idea. As a Republican I’m left scratching my head and wondering if my party leaders think the voters are dumb. Not only does it hurt our brand, but we fail to lead. Virginia does not need to raise taxes to become a 21st century economy.

    • Jason, is Virginia really more balkanized than Florida?

      In Virginia, Northern Virginia (NoVa) is sociologically very different from the Rest of Virginia (RoVa). NoVa moves in the economic orbit of Washington, D.C., is populated largely (though not exclusively) with people who grew up and lived elsewhere, and consider themselves “Washingtonians” not “Virginians.” Also, because the population is better educated and far more affluent, NoVians tend to look down upon RoVians as a lesser breed of mortal…. not unlike the Germans and Slavs.

      While Florida has several major metropolitan areas, my sense is that none of them dominate the state as NoVa has come to dominate Virginia. In the Sunshine State, the MSAs are rough equals. If I’m right in that supposition, it would lead to a very different dynamic, would it not?

      • I’ve been away from Florida politics for some time, however, from colleagues and friends who have served in the Florida legislature, or worked in Tallahassee, they have issues that break out by region, with South Florida have a larger voice in the legislature than other areas of the state. Then if you really want to muck things up, throw in the Cuban-American factor.

        Florida has one thing going for it though that we here do not, at least not yet. Florida has multiple economic power centers throughout the state. Each kind of has it own way of checking on the other.

        For example, we could have our equivalent of a Space Coast here, as they do in Florida (granted at a different scale) – and the seeds are there with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and the Virginia Space Coast Academy, but most Virginians have no idea about it, nor are there serious efforts to support it.

        We could have a strong New Energy program, but folks are hyper sensitive to the environment so efforts at exploiting uranium reserves at Coles Hill will remain off line for some time. Even the I-66 high tech corridor could use an economic re-think and re-vamp, making more international where it can be.

        I’m not sure what the answer is for this NoVa vs RoVa business. But it is not what folks have been doing the past few years. With regards to your comment, “NoVians tend to look down upon RoVians as a lesser breed of mortal…. not unlike the Germans and Slavs,” I have seen that. And it is not good, but, I do not think it is a majority view in NoVa. Then again, I do not care for folks who think that way and steer clear of them.

        Washingtonians? The true Washingtonian really dislikes Virginia, including Northern Virginia. They see this area as a “shopping center” for Wal-Mart or Target runs, or even jaunts over to Tysons. But they are mostly an elitist lot and do not like it here. But they are a source of revenue for Virginia business. Welcome them. They leave in a few hours.

        • re: rural vs urban

          I think this is a fairly common issue beyond Florida and Virginia to include the entire country and I do not presume to be able to do a through job of documenting it by any stretch of the imagination but it sorta goes like this:

          Should rural areas subsidize the economic growth centers if, in doing so, those economic growth centers, in turn, share their wealth, by helping buy better roads and schools and other infrastructure that benefits the rural areas ?

          I think the answer is yes if there is net economic gain and some is shared in a balanced way where the rural area essentially proffers some of it’s taxes as basically as investment in the urban centers that delivers an ROI.

          but there is no way anyone should expect rural areas to make themselves even poorer to subsidize the urban centers and no real returns on investment.

          then we have the other side.

          if the urban areas do not share some of their wealth with rural areas to have better schools that will deliver employable graduates – and the downside of that is more welfare and MedicAid, food stamps, etc.. that ends up being paid for by the urban areas – that seems ignorant and short-sighted to do that.

          so the two fates – are inevitably tied to each other as long as they both occupy the same governing areas – the states.

          where have I gone wrong on this reasoning?

    • 46 other states INCLUDING Florida make the localities responsible for local/regional roads AND the ones the State does these are toll roads.

      Using that same approach in Va would not be “balkanizing” any more than Florida is.

      You’ve drunk a bit of the NoVa kook-aid methinks because RoVa has never really resented NoVa – they just don’t want NoVa needs (like for METRO) imposed on them while at the same time NoVa bitches about the part of the Statewide sales tax that – belongs to the State – to assure equitable education for all of Virginia’s kids.

      NoVa is the one the makes the argument that this 1% sales tax for the state for education really belongs to them – and it no more belongs to NoVa than it does to Richmond, Roanoke or Hampton and I bet you dollars to donuts Florida has some kind of similar approach to taxing the entire state to then allocate to kids education equitably.

      when NoVa makes this argument – THIS is what POISONS …. they are essentially saying that they are a mighty economic engine that is being “fleeced” to pay for poor kids in SW Va.

      that’s a losing argument in RoVa, I can guarandamtee you… and RoVa is who has heavy influence in the GA in Richmond – at least in the HD.

      we need MORE local responsibility for local/regional roads LIKE THEY HAVE IN FLORIDA… and 45 other states!

    • I have lived in Northern Virginia virtually all my life. Virginia has always been balkanized. After the revolution Virginia included Kentucky County. That “county” wanted separation from Virginia and held 10 constitutional conventions before agreeing to terms of separation from Virginia. My Grandfather, Great-Grandfather and many others in that lineage were from Kentucky. They had no great love loss for Virginia. In the run up to the Civil War another large swath of Virginia decided it couldn’t abide the decisions being made in Richmond. That groupd of Virginia counties left Virginia and formed West Virginia.

      So, the first lesson of Virginia history, in my opinion, is that Virginia has been balkanized from the get go, has been breaking up since the revolution and will probably continue to de-construct.

      Moving forward in Virginia history one sees a poor state run by an oligarchy centered in Richmond. The Richmonders considered themselves the colonial capital of the state with those in the hinterlands (everywhere except Richmond) relegated to providing tithe to their colonial masters in Richmond. Yet the suppression of the hinterlands paled in comparison to the suppression of minorities, especially African Americans, by the ruling oligarchy in Richmond. Virginia was shoulder to shoulder with Mississippi and Alabama in terms of raw predjudice. Massive Resistance was the hallmark of this philosophy.

      The list goes on and deserves a bigger format than a column. Suffice it to say that a small oligarchy still runs the state although not necessarily from Richmond anymore. So long as this oligarchy is alloed to exist, Virginia will remain (as it has alwways been) balkanized.

  8. talk about your “revisionist” history.

    here’s the real deal:

    the Masters of Govt teat suckers settled in NoVa and thrived on Govt suckling… then thumbed their noses at those nasty racists in Richmond!

    Of course, 3/4 of the folks in NoVa including the businesses get their govt spending from those poor folk in RoVa…. and Kansas and rural Kentucky but that’s just a minor “nit”.

    ;-)

    when NoVa gets off the govt dole, I’ll give them more due respect about their superiority over RoVa.

    • Wow! Talk about historical illiteracy. Really? The people who are now in West Virginia settled in NoVa and were “Masters of Govt suckling”.

      I give up – why did West Virginia split from Virginia? It was because they didn’t want to follow the Richmond elite into an immoral and disasterous Civil War.

      Can you name another American state where 1/3 of the state was so appalled at the corruption in the capital they walked out and formed their own state?

      (sound of crickets chirping)

      Larry, go read your history. Virginia has always been balkanized.

      • re: balkanized. pretty common in all 50 states.. not a unique Virginia issue.

        re: West Va – nice tale.. maybe a fairy tale….if you look at early maps all of the eastern states extended far west and each one of them got truncated similar to Va.

        I do not begrudge NoVa for it’s proximity to the Fed govt and the inevitable largess that accrues except for their attitude toward RoVa. NoVa is nothing but dumb luck if nothing else.

        In some respect, NoVa has it’s own racist devils to deal with also and to it’s credit – did get themselves away from it better than parts of RoVa.

        but if you could plant NoVa just east of Roanoke.. it might well have bee just like Danville.

  9. here’s another perspective about non-balkanized transportation:

    TMT talks about developers feasting off of VDOT roads – err.. taxpayer-funded roads… many from RoVa….

    I agree.

    but I also wonder if the same version of this does not occur with METRO. 300 million samolies from the rubes in RoVa and that follows on the heels of a billion from the rubes in Kansas… all the while NoVa looks down it’s nose at those same folks.

    why does the govt not get their pound of flesh from developers for access to highways and transit if they build it?

    why does the adjacent land become an instant gold mine for the private sector instead of the govt recovering their costs from the private sector that benefits from it?

    if we did transportation policy this way – we’d have a revolving fund – an infrastructure bank – that refills itself from economic development that accrues as a result of the infrastructure provisioning.

    Both VDOT and METRO approach this whole game as if taxpayers should pay to provide the infrastructure investments that, in turn, promotes private wealth . For every Til Hazel there are dozens, hundreds of “private” entrepreneurs whose primary occupation is figuring out how to maximum the value of land – that is adjacent to transportation infrastructure.

    For all the GOP CATO Bible thumpers in Richmond, most all of them voted to have taxpayers continue to fund private investors efforts.

  10. After years of aggressive citizen advocacy, the Fairfax County BoS voted to require the Tysons landowners to pay 59.5% of the costs for road and non-rail transit improvements. This does not include other infrastructure. To be fair to both the Tysons landowners and the rest of Virginia, this same formula should be applied to every future rezoning grant in the Commonwealth. Apply this rule statewide and you will see more transportation improvements that provide substantial benefit to taxpayers and fewer that are simply corporate welfare. The Virginia of Til Hazel is no more with such a change.

    • The transportation debate is just as much about congestion as it is about property rights and land use. We are unwittingly creating a patchwork of unfunded mandates in the process that are forcing all Virginians to pay for local road efforts. If it is local, then funding should usually come locally. This would take too long to has out on a post, but, roads are part of the discussion. Raising taxes or waiving a tax talisman the way my party did is not going to fix it. In tough economic times, you trim fat and lower taxes. This will irritate most of Democratic friends and some Republicans but it does work.

  11. re: “forcing all Virginians to pay for local road efforts”

    I keep pointing out that Virginia is almost unique with regard to NOT having the localities pay for local roads. 90%+ of states require the localities to be responsible for local roads while the State takes responsibility for the major roads that connect the state – known as Interstates, Primary(in Va), roads of statewide significance.

    the problem with Virginia’s approach is that the localities will use state roads and state road resources for local development efforts and there is no linkage between their land-use decisions and the transportation consequences of their decisions.

    This is how major state roads designed to connect the state get co-opted at the local level for commercial venues, which then requires the state to pay for bypasses to recover the lost utility when the original road is degraded to the point it is no longer useful for it’s original funded purpose. This is how you end up with Charlottesville bypasses of Rt 29 or the expensive bypasses construction around Lynchburg and many other places.

    then it goes even further and even worse when the localities use secondary roads to build subdivision roads and both the secondary road and the subdivision roads are paid for by the state – not the locality – and as I have pointed out over and over – in 46 other states the secondary road and the subdivision road IS the locality’s financial responsibility.

    Virginia has a screwed up system that basically encourages localities to make land-use decisions irrespective of the impacts on very expensive taxpayer-provided infrastructure.

    In effect, when a locality approves a new subdivision – the road that goes to the subdivision AND the subdivision road itself becomes not the financial responsibility of the people benefiting from it – but the responsibility of the states’ taxpayers.

    so you have the areas of the state that are benefiting from growth – having the costs of their ever increasing road needs picked up by all taxpayers across the state including those in areas that are much poorer and are not experiencing growth.

    those areas pay even when taxes do not increase – because the amount of money that is generated from existing taxes – gets more and more allocated to the areas that are growing and are creating more road needs.

    there might be a philosophical argument about having all the state sharing in paying for other localities road needs but 46 other states have said – that this is a local responsibility – not a state taxpayers responsibility and one of the major reasons why – is that when a locality makes land-use decisions and someone else is paying for the road costs – their land-use decision is made without regard to how much road cost it imposes because they are not paying directly for it.

    Virginia’s current “roads are a core state responsibility” approach essentially encourages land-use decisions that do not take into account – transportation impacts as fully as they should.

    and the other way you know this is the lists of unfunded local projects that VDOT dutifully puts on a list of (to be built “someday”) roads that have no viable funding source because the state has already spent every penny on prior local roads.

    this is why the 6yr secondary road plan is basically empty. It’s been sucked dry by the localities that grow and there is no more money unless taxes increase at the state level and the money gets taken from all localities – even the ones that are not growing.

    we say that if we make the localities more responsible for local roads that this is “balkanization” – something 46 other states do – and 46 other states essentially require the locality to be more responsible for local development decisions because those localities end up having to also pay for the transportation consequences of those decisions – which is exactly how 33 cities and towns and 2 counties in Va also have to do.

    We need to hold localities responsible for their land-use decisions with respect to the transportation costs that they cause and the best way to do that is to let them be responsible for both and the way to have the state always have to go back for tax increases is to let the state pay for local roads no matter what.

    • here’s a good question:

      does anyone think Virginia has more “bypasses” than the states that requires localities to be responsible for their local roads?

      how does the need for a “bypass” come about?

      who would take a road that was intended to connect communities with other communities and provide transportation utility for a region and allow it to be used for commercial development venues?

      what is the difference between Charlottesville or NoVa or Lynchburg taking US 29 and allowing multiple curb cuts on it for commercial businesses that in turn eventually require more and more traffic signals to convey the traffic to/from the businesses – to the point where the road – US29 built from taxes from all Virginians – no longer functions for it’s original purpose – to allow people to go from Lynchburg to Washington via Charlottesville?

      who is responsible for that – and more important – he should pay the cost of a bypass – a new road to go around it?

      further – what happens to the bypass if no one puts rules on it preventing it from being co-opted for business development like the road it replaced?

      ask yourself where he concept of “limited-access” came from to start with….

      these are questions I ask.

      what causes the building of bypasses and who should pay for them?

  12. The state Supreme Court has held “The Constitution of Virginia ‘is not a grant of legislative powers to the General Assembly, but is a restraining instrument only, and, except as to matters ceded to the federal government, the legislative powers of the General Assembly are without limit.’ ” Marshall v. Northern Virginia Transp. Auth., 657 S.E.2d 71, 78 (Va. 2008), quoting Harrison v. Day, 201 Va. 386, 396, 111 S.E.2d 504, 511 (1959); accord City of Roanoke v. Elliott, 123 Va. 393, 406, 96 S.E. 819, 824 (1918).

  13. Pingback: Questions for the 10% of Virginia republicans who support the transportation tax hike | Virginia Virtucon

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