HJ687: Highways; Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability to develop plan to toll certain.

Offered January 14, 2009
Prefiled January 13, 2009
Directing the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability to develop a plan to toll certain highways. Report.
Patrons-- Rust and Albo

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, an adequate, safe, and efficient highway transportation system is essential to the economic prosperity of the Commonwealth and the quality of life of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, state revenues dedicated to highway maintenance, construction, and operation are not adequate to provide the highway transportation system that Virginia needs and its citizens deserve; and

WHEREAS, it is highly desirable to provide additional revenues to support highway construction without raising taxes; and

WHEREAS, the tolling of highways is a means, directly related to highway use, whereby revenues can be raised to support highway construction; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability be directed to develop a plan to toll certain highways. Such plan shall embrace multiple highways in the Commonwealth, with toll proceeds to be used for highway construction projects.

Such plan shall provide that (i) tolls will be collected electronically, without the use of any toll booths or barriers, affording users the unobstructed use of an open road; (ii) the amount of tolls shall be set so as to generate $1 billion annually; (iii) revenues generated by such tolls are to be used exclusively for highway construction within the planning district wherein they are generated; (iv) tolls may be differentiated between different types and classes of vehicles; (v) construction financed through such tolls shall be dedicated exclusively to the relief of traffic congestion and economic development, based on accepted engineering and economic principles; and (vi) discounts may be permitted for commuters, interstate travelers, and other frequent users. Such plan shall include, but need not necessarily be limited to, the following facilities: the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia; Interstate Route 395 between the Capital Beltway and the Potomac River; Interstate Route 66; Interstate Route 95; Virginia Route 895 (Pocahontas Parkway); Interstate Route 295; Interstate Route 64; Interstate Route 81; Interstate Route 664; Interstate Route 77; and Interstate Route 85. Any facility that has an existing or proposed toll shall have that toll factored into any new toll proposed by this plan.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Commission for this study, upon request.

The Commission shall complete its plan by November 30, 2009, and the chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of the plan no later than the first day of the 2010 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state whether the Commission intends to submit its plan to the General Assembly and the Governor for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.