New at Tolls or Taxes in Virginia?

In his latest Bacon’s Rebellion column, Reason’s Geoff Segal examines how Virginia can ease congestion:

Both the Governor’s and Senate’s transportation plan lack the needed creativity and innovation. They are relics relying on traditional taxes, and tax increases, to fund transportation projects. These plans are stuck in the mindset that government is the best provider of services. On the other hand, the House provides leadership with innovative structural reforms that will provide a long-term solution. Just as our transportation needs have changed, so has the way of financing them. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels announced last Monday that he’ll be able to fully fund the state’s 10-year transportation plan without raising taxes. How? A $3.8 billion concession deal to operate the Indiana Toll Road. Sounds similar to the Dulles Toll Road long-term lease conversation. In the last 12 months, global capital markets have discovered the U.S. highway market. Literally trillions of dollars from global funds could be invested in our highways. The Indiana deal is part of a larger trend beginning to sweep across the nation. So far, in just four states — Virginia is one of them i.e., Dulles Toll Road –more than $20 billion worth of proposals are pending approval. So, what should the Commonwealth do?

Full Column Here Reason’s Transportation and Tolls Research and Commentary Here