News Column

Business Groups Endorse 'Virginia's Road to the Future'

Jan 29, 2013

Three business groups today joined the growing list of supporters of Governor Bob McDonnell's "Virginia's Road to the Future" (HB 2313/SB 1355) the comprehensive, long-term transportation funding plan. The Greater Richmond Technology Council, the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance, and the Virginia Association of Surveyors announced their support for the governor's transportation funding solution. Official statements from the groups can be found below.

Greater Richmond Technology Council

"Virginia's economic competitiveness depends on a strong transportation network. As such, RichTech supports action on a comprehensive, long-term, sustainable funding plan for transportation to protect the Commonwealth's ranking as the best state to do business. RichTech applauds and supports Governor McDonnell's efforts to identify a path to consensus. The Governor and General Assembly are rightly placing transportation funding as a top priority for Virginia and it's our hope that a solution will be approved during the 2013 session.

In regards to the federal Internet sales tax legislation as a part of the transportation funding solution, RichTech again stands with NVTC and other regional technology councils in support only with a reasonable small seller collection exemption, a single audit requirement, and a one-stop tax registration and remittance process to protect small Virginia technology businesses."

Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance

"Current levels of congestion outside and within our region have placed business growth, tourism, port growth and our military facilities at risk. The Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance applauds Governor McDonnell's leadership in offering legislation that from our perspective will address what has been our top legislative priority for many years. The tenets of the proposed legislation appear to be aligned with our funding principles, which are:

- Broad-based, long-term, and efficient to collect

- Sourced from all ultimate consumers including those in-state, out-of-state, wholesalers, retailers, and users of products and services moved over the transportation grid

- Designed to encourage smart transportation grid use and development

- Enable everyone to pay their fair share.

We look forward to working with Governor McDonnell and members of both parties in the House and Senate as this legislation is considered during the 2013 session of the Virginia General Assembly. This is an important first step to fund the long-term transportation needs of Hampton Roads."

Virginia Association of Surveyors

On behalf of the Executive Board of the Virginia Association of Surveyors as well as its 600 members we would like to formally show our support and offer our full endorsement for Governor McDonnell's Long Term Transportation Funding Plan.

We believe that his Transportation Funding Plan will ensure strong economic development across the Commonwealth. We also believe that this plan will have a direct impact on the creation of jobs, development of communities, and investment in our schools systems and provide the citizens of the Commonwealth a safer and easily accessible network of Roads, Railroads, Ports and Airports.

It is our opinion that this plan is the long-term, sustainable funding plan we need to keep

Virginia moving! It will not only improve the lives of Virginians but it will also address the issue we face economically and demographically. As our infrastructure grows along with the population, we create the need for new facilities or the need to maintain or repair our aging facilities. We also create the need for expansion of existing roads and the creation of new roads. This plan, if approved, will be implemented on a statewide basis and will play a vital role in the economic success of the Commonwealth as well as every business that operates within or through its transportation system.

We respectfully ask that members of both parties of the General Assembly give Governor McDonnell's plan serious consideration as they work towards the solution in the coming weeks." - W E.Nash, LS, President, Virginia Association of Surveyors

These three groups join numerous business, labor and transportation groups that have already announced their support of the governor's plan. They are:

- American Concrete Paving Association - Mid-Atlantic Chapter

- APM Terminals

- Associated General Contractors of Virginia

- Amtrak

- Apartment and Office Building Association

- Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of Teamsters

- Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

- CSX Transportation, Inc.

- DuPont

- Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce

- Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce

- Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce

- Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

- Hampton Roads Utility and Heavy Contractors Association

- Heavy Construction Contractors Association

- Home Builders Association of Virginia

- Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce

- Luck Companies

- Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

- Norfolk Southern Corporation

- Northern Virginia Technology Council

- Old Dominion Highway Contractors Association

- Prince William Chamber of Commerce

- Richmond Area Municipal Contractors Association

- Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce

- Precast Concrete Association of Virginia

- Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation Union

- Virginia Economic Developers Association

- Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce

- Virginia Asphalt Association

- Virginia Association of Counties

- Virginia Association of REALTORS

- Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals

- Virginia Automobile Dealers Association

- Virginia Chamber of Commerce

- Virginians for High Speed Rail

- Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

- Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

- Virginia Railroad Association

- Virginia Ready-Mixed Concrete Association

- Virginia Regional Transit

- Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance

- Washington Airports Task Force

- Wawa

Governor McDonnell's plan will provide more than $3.1 billion in transportation funding for the Commonwealth over the next 5 years, including $1.8 billion for new construction. It will end the state's crossover issue, in which money meant for construction is currently diverted to simple maintenance. The plan ties future transportation funding to economic growth and makes Virginia the first state in the nation to eliminate its gas tax, a rapidly declining revenue source.

Source: (C) 1994-2013 M2 Communications

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