It's a long shot, but at least one Hampton Roads lawmaker is trying to head off the impending re-tolling of the Downtown and Midtown tunnels.
Del. Kenny Alexander, D-Norfolk, has submitted legislation that would apply the state's 5 percent general sales tax to motor fuels, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for Virginia's overburdened transportation infrastructure.
If passed, Alexander says, his measure could provide an alternative means of financing the planned expansion of the Midtown Tunnel and rehabilitation of the Downtown Tunnel. That project is now slated to be paid for by the reimposition of tolls on the two Elizabeth River crossings later this year.
Alexander's proposal, HB892, is unlikely to gain traction. Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell and the Republican-led General Assembly have consistently opposed any new taxes for transportation.