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When Virginia governor Bob McDonnell released his transportation plan, I criticized the scheme to replace the gas tax with a sales tax. This Sunday’s Washington Post includes an op-ed I wrote on the topic, which also incorporates many of the points you made in the comments. The Post is pairing it with a piece by Governor McDonnell defending his proposal.

Does Virginia’s governor still represent Virginia, or is Robert F. McDonnell looking toward higher office? This month, McDonnell (R) proposed a transportation funding plan that would provide a windfall to drivers in other states who pass through Virginia while dumping more burdens on Virginians, especially residents of Northern Virginia.

McDonnell’s transportation funding plan, if you can call it one, would eliminate the gas tax and make it up, plus a little more, with a sales-tax hike on just about everything except driving. Instead of the common-sense idea that the more people use transportation, the more they should pay for it, McDonnell would do the opposite.

The biggest windfall would go to anyone who drives through the state without stopping. Going from Maryland to the Carolinas and beyond? Enjoy the state’s roads and bridges for free. Through-drivers, who add to traffic congestion and the wear and tear of the roads, would directly contribute to state coffers only if they happen to stop for a burger along the way.

Continue reading the op-ed in the Washington Post.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.