W.Va. Senate Approves Governor's Gasoline Tax Hike

Mar 25, 2017

Members of the Senate voted 27-6, with one member absent, Saturday to increase the state's gasoline tax and some vehicle fees to increase funding for the state's Road Fund.

Senate Bill 477 was presented to lawmakers on behalf of Gov. Jim Justice.

The bill would increase the state's gasoline tax by 4.5 cents. It also sets a new baseline for the wholesale gasoline price.

The bill increases several Division of Motor Vehicle fees, some of which haven't been changed for more than 30 years. The largest of those is an increase of the annual vehicle registration fee from $30 to $50.

Those fees are also then tied to a federal consumer price index to be adjusted for inflation every five years.

Several Senators from both parties stood to support the bill and the additional dollars it will create for road maintenance and construction in the state. The DMV estimates that increased revenue could be as much as $42 million each year. 

The bill now goes to the House of Delegates for its consideration. 

Sen. Robert Karnes, a Republican from Upshur County, was in attendance Saturday, but was not in the chamber to vote on the bill.