Dispute Over I-95 Tolls Heats Up

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The dispute over Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposal to toll Interstate 95 near the North Carolina border got hotter on statewide radio last week as Emporia’s mayor and a city councilman grilled the governor.

Emporia Mayor Samuel Adams and Councilman Jim Saunders told McDonnell on WRVA-AM the tolls would harm a rural area of the state that is economically struggling and that raising the fuel tax was a better solution. “We could raise about $325 million a year, based on numbers I’ve run, versus $30 (million) to $35 million on the tolls,” Saunders said.

Opposition to the tolling plan continues to grow and now includes dozens of local governments, regional governmental and economic development bodies.

The Richmond Times Dispatch last week voiced its opposition to the plan in its editorial "Tolls: Mr. Inefficiency." "The administration is moving forward with a plan to put tolls on I-95 near the North Carolina border," the Dispatch wrote. "The aim — raising money for transportation — is admirable. The means are not." The newspaper advocated raising the gasoline tax by one penny to generate $50 million a year as an alternative.

Photo Credit: leungchopan/bigstock.com

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This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

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