Panel floats idea of improving NC roads by increasing taxes

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A state commission recommends improving North Carolina roads by substantially increasing spending over the next decade.

The committee offers several ideas to increase spending by a recommended 40-percent, including raising vehicle taxes, raising the state sales tax and floating the idea of charging drivers based on the number of miles they drive.

The North Carolina First Commission, formed by Gov. Roy Cooper's administration, suggests spending $2 billion more annually to alleviate traffic congestion and improve aging secondary roads.

"Relying as we do now heavily on the state gas tax to provide the financial resources for future transportation projects will probably not be feasible," said N.C. State University professor Mike Walden, a commission member.

Revenue from the gas tax is dropping because newer cars get better gas mileage and drivers are consequently buying less fuel.

The committee also suggests taxing ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft and creating road impact fees for deliveries made by Amazon and similar online sellers.

The report will be presented to a House committee Monday, two days before the new legislative session begins.
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