Solution to high gas prices and need for more transportation dollars in Virginia: Lease oil and gas fields offshore in Virginia. Have the lease revenue dedicated to the transportation trust fund. It is unclear at this time how much revenue this would generate but such a move could start funds flowing soon from big oil eager to develop new fields.
This is an idea I have had for some time but thanks to Spank the Donkey for his post that highlights a North Carolina congresswoman that has introduced legislation allowing states to participate in lease revenue. The primary focus of the bill would be to allow states to opt out of the Interior Department restriction against drilling offshore. I didn't realize until I read his post that $8 billion is generated from offshore leases. I was aware that citizens in Alaska actually receive rebate checks (pay no state tax) from the state for oil production fees and lease revenue generated there. While we certainly don't have those type of reserves we can increase the state's revenue for our transportation needs dramatically.
As we approach the special session on transportation in June, someone in the GA needs to seize upon this alternative, flesh out the numbers and drive this issue home. My selection would be Senator Frank Wagner since he has already done a great deal of work on the energy issue. This would be a great alternative to raising taxes.