Virginia speaker Howell says he "loves" concept of comprehensive tolls
By Peter Samuel
The speaker of the Virginia House, William J Howell says "I love the concept of tolls" as a way of funding needed road improvements and managing congestion, calling the gasoline tax a "dinosaur." A Republican Howell made the comments in a meeting with editors and reporters of the Washington Times.
"We're talking about leasing the concession to collect the tolls on those roads," Mr. Howell said. "It can be a tough political argument to make, but it's an argument worth making because it's a sound political concept... This is just getting a present value for a future income stream. It makes a lot of sense... I think we are going to have to see a lot more tolls in Virginia."
The tolls could be modeled after what he called successful projects that have generated billions of new dollars in the midwest.
That would allow Virginia to collect user fees from the millions who traverse its roads - from the Interstate 95 corridor that is a key gateway to the Southeast to the Hampton Roads arteries that lead to the state's beaches and tourist destinations.