"This just gives the revenue committee a baseline to look at," he said.
Revenue committee members acknowledged that finding a way to meet the recommended funding level would be a hard task.
"This is a big number that was presented to us from the infrastructure committee, so we need to think outside of the box," committee member Gary Tillis said.
While some of the money could be diverted from elsewhere in the state budget, new revenue also would be needed. That would mean new or higher taxes and fees.
Former state Senator Richard Browning, D-Wyoming, attended the meeting and suggested lawmakers could tap internet sales taxes as a means to fund future road projects.
Sen. Mike Hall, R-Putnam, said the National Conference of State Legislatures had been pushing Congress to give states the ability to collect taxes on internet sales.
"That's a $60 to $70 million revenue bump to the state if the federal government would authorize it," Hall said.
Other possibilities presented to the committee were increasing the sales tax on vehicles from 5 to 6 percent, which would raise about $38 million annually; a 6-cent surcharge for diesel on the state's gas tax to raise about $18 million; and transferring some state severance tax revenue to the road fund once the state's Workers' Compensation debt is paid off in 2016.
Retired West Virginia University Professor Tom Witt pointed out that average drivers are paying less in gas taxes now in spite of higher rates.
Due to increased fuel economy standards over the years, Witt said the average driver saw a drop in the annual cost of the gas tax from $213.75 in 2001 to $122.18 in 2013.
He said officials needed to keep that in mind when they consider politically risky proposals like increasing fuel taxes imposed per gallon.
Witt also pointed out some inconsistencies in state tax law.
Right now the state offers a $7,500 income tax credit to people who buy some electric, natural gas or hybrid cars.
In addition to reducing general tax revenue, Witt said the state also gets hit when these cars drive down gas tax revenue.
"There's a conflict in public policy here between these two issues," he said.
The finance committee will review a slew of revenue options over the next month to see if they can meet the infrastructure committee's funding recommendation. They plan to meet again Feb. 7 to review their findings.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at jared.h...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148.