The Virginia Senate voted 25-15 just before noon today to approve legislation that would increase the state gas tax by 5 cents over the next five years.Three Republicans voted for it: Senators Emmett Hanger (R-24), Fred Quayle (R-13), and John Watkins (R-10).
The bill would raise the tax by a penny each year. Saslaw said it's expected to bring $52 million in new revenue its first year.
Many Republicans opposed the bill as an unnecessary gas tax, but several members of the party voted for it. Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta County, suggested that the volatility of retail gas prices will render it unnoticeable.
Freshman Senator Jill Vogel had this in her newsletter today:
The Senate also debated the bill introduced by Senator Dick Saslaw that would raise the gas tax one cent a year for five consecutive years. The tax increase amounts to more than a billion dollars over five years and the bill passed by a vote of 25 to 15. I voted against it and remain committed not to grow government this session, given the current state of the Governor's economic plan and the current environment for tax payers in Virginia.Thank you, Senator Vogel.