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What impact will fuel-efficiency have on transportation funds?

While fuel-efficient vehicles may be better for the environment and the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, what impact will they have on Virginia’s transportation system?
That’s the question a Pulaski County man had for a Virginia Department of Transportation official Monday night.
The question from James McClanahan was posed to VDOT Resident Engineer David Clarke after Clarke pointed out to Pulaski County Board of Supervisors that gas taxes provide the bulk of funding for roads in Virginia.
“What impact will there be on highway funding when the fuel-efficient cars get on the highway and they’re not stopping at the gas stations? Does anyone know where the money will come from (to fund road construction and maintenance) in the future?” McClanahan asked.
With road funds already lagging, Clarke responded, “you’ve made some excellent points. Maybe that’s what has already contributed to some of our (funding) problems.”
He said one option being considered is charging a mileage tax, where the amount of mileage driven will be determined during vehicle inspections. Like the gas tax, he said that method would allow those who use the roads the most to contribute the most to the cost of building and maintaining them.
Clarke told the supervisors Monday that VDOT has enough money on hand to finish one more unpaved road (likely Dallas Freeman Road) in the county.
“That’ll probably be the last one for a while,” he said.
Supervisors Chairman Joe Sheffey asked if new budget cuts proposed by Gov. Tim Kaine will have additional impacts on road funding.
Clarke said the governor usually asks all departments to find areas to cut costs, so it probably will. Most likely, he noted, the cuts will result in less paving.
Sheffey thanked Clarke for VDOT’s recent mowing along roads. For the past few months, supervisors have noted that mowing complaints have been dominating their calls.
“Keep on mowing, keep on mowing,” Sheffey told Clarke.
County Administrator Peter Huber said it is always helpful to him and supervisors when it can be made clear to the public that the county does not control funding for road maintenance or construction.
Huber said he recently got a call from a man who was complaining that this real estate taxes have gone up, but the road maintenance has gotten worse.

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What impact will fuel-efficiency have on transportation funds?

While fuel-efficient vehicles may be better for the environment and the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, what impact will they have on Virginia’s transportation system?
That’s the question a Pulaski County man had for a Virginia Department of Transportation official Monday night.
The question from James McClanahan was posed to VDOT Resident Engineer David Clarke after Clarke pointed out to Pulaski County Board of Supervisors that gas taxes provide the bulk of funding for roads in Virginia.
“What impact will there be on highway funding when the fuel-efficient cars get on the highway and they’re not stopping at the gas stations? Does anyone know where the money will come from (to fund road construction and maintenance) in the future?” McClanahan asked.
With road funds already lagging, Clarke responded, “you’ve made some excellent points. Maybe that’s what has already contributed to some of our (funding) problems.”
He said one option being considered is charging a mileage tax, where the amount of mileage driven will be determined during vehicle inspections. Like the gas tax, he said that method would allow those who use the roads the most to contribute the most to the cost of building and maintaining them.
Clarke told the supervisors Monday that VDOT has enough money on hand to finish one more unpaved road (likely Dallas Freeman Road) in the county.
“That’ll probably be the last one for a while,” he said.
Supervisors Chairman Joe Sheffey asked if new budget cuts proposed by Gov. Tim Kaine will have additional impacts on road funding.
Clarke said the governor usually asks all departments to find areas to cut costs, so it probably will. Most likely, he noted, the cuts will result in less paving.
Sheffey thanked Clarke for VDOT’s recent mowing along roads. For the past few months, supervisors have noted that mowing complaints have been dominating their calls.
“Keep on mowing, keep on mowing,” Sheffey told Clarke.
County Administrator Peter Huber said it is always helpful to him and supervisors when it can be made clear to the public that the county does not control funding for road maintenance or construction.
Huber said he recently got a call from a man who was complaining that this real estate taxes have gone up, but the road maintenance has gotten worse.

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