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Legislators push for say on adding tolls page 2
State legislators introduce bills to give them authority to decide whether tolls are added on existing roads

Date published: 1/15/2013


Peace and other legislators say tolling existing roads is different from tolling new roads. Many who generally support tolling new roads have expressed concerns with tolling existing roads.

On principle, Peace said, the General Assembly has the authority to raise revenue for transportation, and that should include authority over tolls.

McDonnell has so far been undeterred by opposition to tolls from those who live around Sussex. He has said the assembly has tied his hands with regard to new revenue for transportation, and that "a reasonable use of tolls is a proper way to build transportation infrastructure."

Peace said tolls should be a part of the broader conversation about transportation funding.

Peace suggested the tolling bills and McDonnell's transportation plan might get tied together. He said he can't vote to trade the gas tax for a higher sales tax--as McDonnell has proposed--without a commitment from McDonnell to back off on tolls.

"I'm not saying there's a bargain for exchange," Peace said. But, he added, that discussion must be had for central Virginia lawmakers to consider McDonnell's transportation funding bill.

"So far the governor is unwilling" to discuss tolls, Peace said. "He's keeping it in his back pocket for now, and we need to have it on the table."

Chelyen Davis: 804/343-2245
Email: cdavis@freelancestar.com

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