WV Legislature Tackles Road Funding along with Special Session Budget Struggle

House finance committee tinkering with variable minimum gas tax, raising the sales tax on auto sales and other fees to help fund major road reconstruction program

Wv Asphalt Paving 5942d05db7e9a

West Virginia’s legislature has been in a special session for 18 days, trying to pass budget and tax legislation after Gov. Jim Justice vetoed a $4.1 billion budget at the close of their regular session.

On Tuesday, the House Finance Committee also amended then advanced a road reconstruction bill backed by Justice and approved by the Senate. It would increase the variable minimum gas tax by 3.5 cents a gallon, raise the sales tax for selling a car from 5% to 6% and increase other state motor vehicle fees, expected to raise almost $140 million in the coming year for road repairs starting in July. The committee stripped from the bill an additional 1.5-cent flat gas tax.

The additional funds would also support possible bonding for a major reconstruction program that’s subject to voter referendum expected in August. That’s the centerpiece of Justice’s economic development program. He says it will create thousands of jobs.

(more on WV budget battles . . . )