The state would need an additional $847.7 million in yearly road spending to bring all of its roads and bridges up to engineers' full design standards.
The Blue Ribbon Highways Commission's revenue subcommittee recently came up with a list of revenue proposals that, if adopted in whole by the Legislature, would generate $419 million, mostly by increasing existing taxes.
One suggestion is to increase consumer sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, and direct that extra money to the State Road Fund. The committee estimates the move would generate $200 million per year.
The committee suggested the state could generate $50 million by creating a "West Virginia Transportation Fund" using Turnpike tolls, increasing those tolls and making cuts to the state Parkways Authority.
Another suggestion: increase vehicle sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent. That would generate $37.2 million per year, the committee estimates. It also would add $300 to the price of a new $30,000 car.
The committee also recommended increases to Division of Motor Vehicles fees, which would generate an estimated $69.4 million per year.
Those increases could include bumping new vehicle registration fees from $28.50 to $49, generating about $26 million yearly. The committee predicts raising title fees from $5 to $40 would generate $19 million per year.
But even if all the suggested tax increases become law -- which is highly unlikely -- the state still would need an additional $250 million per year to maintain current road conditions.
"We're not going to be able to fix it all in one fell swoop," Commission Chairman Jason Pizatella said.
Pizatella said it is important to identify the state's roads needs, even if West Virginia does not have the means to immediately address all those needs.
Other Top HeadlinesSummit Bechtel Reserve holds open house