News and Views

VBT Blog Post : It’s time to pay what is fair

When compared to other states along the east coast, revenue collected from trucks on Virginia interstates is disproportionately low. Through a combination of meager diesel fuel tax rates and bargain truck registration fees among others, Virginia is missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue year after year. That’s money which, if collected, would go toward needed improvements throughout the commonwealth that have been historically underfunded—especially Interstate 81. Why should the vehicles who damage the highway most pay the least?

Currently, large trucks pay less than 17% of the revenue generated for transportation funding in Virginia. For context, this figure is half or less than half of the truck percentage of state and federal transportation dollars paid in every other state on the east coast—with our most immediate neighbors enjoying more than double the truck revenues that Virginians do (38% in West Virginia and 32% in North Carolina). These funds, generated from the combined road tax, motor vehicle sales and use tax, and registration fees for trucks, have the potential to rack up an additional $244 million per year for the commonwealth—if raised to equitable amounts. 

Charging trucks more for their use of Virginia interstates would not only raise enough money to pay for immediately needed improvements to Interstate 81, but would also provide the state with additional dollars to make highway improvements statewide. While funds for I-81 and Northern Virginia would be placed into special accounts established for transportation needs in those specific areas, all remaining funds would be deposited into a newly established revenue fund to be distributed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board to improve safety, reliability, and ease of travel on Virginia roadways. 
At present, the governor has introduced amendments to the I-81 Improvement Program and Fund bill to provide a plan and a funding source for the billions in needed improvements already identified, and the solution is clear: Make trucks pay their fair share. 

Contact your elected officials today to tell them to support equity in transportation revenue and to vote for the I-81 funding amendments on April 3—it’s time to fix I-81.


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