SPEAK OUT: Should a County Gas Tax Pay for the Purple Line?
Some Montgomery County Council members recently suggested that a county gas tax be levied to pay for the Purple Line. Do you agree?
The future of the Purple Line, with its $1.9 billion price tag, is far from certain.
Though state officials hope to get as much as 50 percent of the costs of these projects from the federal government, the state is on the hook for the rest. And with the state's transportation trust fund lacking funds and state lawmakers having rejected proposals to replenish it this year, several Montgomery County lawmakers are nervous that the money will run out in 2015 and the projects will die.
But one solution, Montgomery County Council Chair Roger Berliner recently suggested, is for Montgomery County to levy its own gas tax to help fund the Purple Line. With a county gas tax, the county gets to keep all of the revenue, NBC Washington reported:
Berliner proposed the idea after the governor's attempt to raise the state gas tax failed. He said state lawmakers most likely will not raise the state's gas tax anytime soon in the face of rising gas prices.
Montgomery County Council Member George Leventhal agreed with Berliner, adding that "the county will also have a tougher time competing for jobs with Virginia without transit and the development it brings," Levanthal said, The Examiner reported.
"We're stagnant. Meanwhile, Virginia is building the Silver Line, and Virginia is putting HOT lanes on the Beltway," he added, The Examiner reported.
Do you agree that a county gas tax should be levied to help pay for the Purple Line? Tell us in the comments.