West Virginia GOP Opposes Newly Switched Republican Governor’s Road Plan

Oct. 7 referendum would allow selling $1.6B in road bonds, paid for by increases in the gas tax, vehicle sales tax and DMV fees that are already approved by the legislature

Despite Gov. Jim Justice’s recent flip to the Republican party, the state GOP executive committee voted to oppose Justice’s road bond referendum.

The party met in Princeton on Saturday and passed a resolution to oppose the referendum for a constitutional amendment in a nearly unanimous voice vote, according to several people who attended.

If the Oct. 7 referendum were to pass, the state could sell up to $1.6 billion in road bonds paid for via a hike in the gas tax, increase in sales tax on motor vehicles and higher DMV fees. The legislature passed these proposals during the special legislative session.

Rob Cornelius, a GOP operative and Wood County’s Republican party chairman, drafted the resolution. He said Tuesday the bond proposal violates several aspects of the party’s platform, specifically the tax and fee increases. Moreover, he said given the state’s recent budgetary woes, it is in no place to be borrowing any more money.

(more on WV road bond politics . . . )