Proposed civil remedial fees in the Commonwealth were supposed to help pay for transportation. But Virginia voters aren’t so sure. And this vacillation has legislators wondering which way to stand on this hot-button, November issue.
Survey Shows Tepid Support for User Fees
In a Washington Post telephone survey, over 1,100 respondents were asked to name the No. 1 issue” and the answer was transportation. Even so, 56% said they would not support a legislator who lobbied for an increase in civil remedial fees.
The proposed fees were designed to raise revenue for transportation by adding a $1,050 tax on top of an existing $2,500 maximum fine for offenses that include driving 15 MPH over the limit in a 65 zone. Motorists cited for clocking 80 mph in a 65 mph zone represent only 4% of Virginia residents. Thus, the proposed levy would have no financial effect on 96% of the Commonwealth's residents
Nearly 177,000 voters have pledged to vote against fee supporters. Some have signed an online petition, opposing the legislation. Opponents are urging legislators to repeal sections of House Bill 3202.
Pro-Legislation Officials Could Feel Pinch at Polls
This also means trouble for Speaker of the House of Delegates William J. Howell (R), who supports the fees and blocked efforts of fellow Republicans to call a special session for their repeal.
Only 19% of the Post’s respondents supported abuser fees. The poll asked whether voters thought the proposed fees were "too high," to which 50% said yes.
A majority of legislators have no opposition in the upcoming election. The candidates’ filing deadline elapsed before fees were publicized.Click here to read more about the results of this poll.