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Editorial: On Transportation

Compromise, in the works, should include indexing the gas tax to inflation.

Virginia needs more options, not fewer, in developing revenue to pay for roads and transportation. Compromise on a plan to increase transportation revenue should not include making Virginia the only state in the nation without a gas tax. The current, ridiculously low gas tax should be indexed to inflation. The last thing the commonwealth needs is to do away with an existing, major source of money for roads.

Sen. Dick Saslaw proposed raising the tax, now 17.5 cents a gallon, by five cents each of the next two years and then indexing it to inflation. At the least, the tax should be indexed to rise with inflation from its current level.

Possible proposals to cut the tax in half along with increases in the sales tax miss the point, but are still far preferable to eliminating it.

The gas tax is a user fee. It raises money for roads from people and businesses who are using the roads, including drivers who pass through Virginia from out of state.

We agree with Del. Scott Surovell, who says: “Funding roads exclusively with sales taxes disproportionately burdens the elderly who drive less than others and people who do not own cars.”

Medicaid Expansion Progresses

The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce said it well when it issued a statement in favor of the commonwealth embracing $10 billion in federal money to expand the number of people eligible for health insurance under Medicaid:

“Northern Virginia businesses and taxpayers are already paying for health reform through new taxes levied by the Affordable Care Act. If we do not take advantage of Medicaid reform [and expansion], roughly $10 billion in Virginia taxpayer dollars will go to the federal government to fund coverage extension in other states. If the General Assembly approves the reform and extension plan, nearly all those taxpayer dollars will remain in-state where they can be put to good use for the benefit of the commonwealth, its businesses and its citizens.”

Call for Photos for Pet Connection

The Pet Connection, a twice-yearly special edition, will publish at the end of February, and photos and stories of your pets with you and your family should be submitted by Feb. 21.

Our favorite pictures include both pets and humans. Please identify everyone in the photo, give a brief description what is happening in the photo and of your pet, and include address and phone number (we will not publish your address or phone number, just your town name). We also welcome short stories about how you got your pet, a noteworthy talent or anecdote about your pet, and drawings, paintings or other artwork of your pet by children or adults.

To see our last pet edition, visit http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Alexandria.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Arlington.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Burke.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Centreview%20North.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Centreview%20South.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Fairfax.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Great%20Falls.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Herndon.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Lorton.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/McLean.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Mt%20Vernon.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Potomac.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Reston.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Springfield.pdf

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2012/072512/Vienna.pdf

Residents from Vienna-Oakton, McLean, Great Falls, Reston, or Herndon area should send submissions to: north@connectionnewspapers.com

Residents from Springfield, Burke, Fairfax or Fairfax Station, should send submissions to:

south@connectionnewspapers.com.