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Virginia Governor Calls for Increased Driver Taxes
Virginia's governor travels the state to call for $4 billion in new taxes on drivers.

Governor Tim Kaine
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D) has called for a special legislative session to impose a series of unprecedented taxes -- including a possible gas tax hike -- on the state's motorists. Kaine promoted his program at a town hall meeting in Bristol yesterday. Tonight, he will again press the issue in Hillsville.

Central to Kaine's plan is the imposition of a new driver responsibility tax expected to raise $401.4 million by 2010. The House version charges drivers who acquire just four demerit points on their license -- effectively raising the price of a typical speeding ticket by $300. The Senate voted 34-6 last month to impose the $100 a year fee on drivers with with eight points.

Kaine's original legislative proposal would impose $4 billion in tax increases by raising the sales tax on vehicles by 2%, the tax on auto insurance by 2.25%, and increasing automobile registration fees.

"I have traveled to every corner of the Commonwealth since my election last November, talking to Virginians about transportation," Kaine said. "Our people sent us here with a very clear message.... to find a source of long-term, reliable and dedicated funding for transportation."

The majority of the new funds would not be used to build new roads. Instead, the funds would be devoted to doubling the current subsidy of mass transit. The legislature will meet in special session on March 27

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