Last week the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would require Internet retailers to collect state and local sales taxes for online purchases. The taxes would then be sent to the state where the shoppers live -- and, according to estimates, they could bring $251 million to Virginia during the fiscal year that starts July 1.
A big chunk of that revenue -- $168 million -- will be earmarked for transportation.
Jacob Geiger, president of Work it, Richmond, wrote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that this tax would have major implications for the massive transportation funding plan that was passed in the most recent legislative session: “If the federal tax law doesn’t pass, the transportation plan calls for an additional increase in the wholesale gas tax.”
The House still needs to vote on the measure.
IN OTHER NEWS:
* D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray warned lawmakers that the existing structure of the city’s Fire Department couldn’t handle a Boston-like attack. (Washington Examiner)
* Robert Bobb, a D.C. administrator and president of the school board, is believed to be weighing a mayoral run. (Washington Post)
* The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors voted Sunday to raise tuition and fees by 4.9 percent, or $532. (Roanoke Times)
* Maryland lottery revenue is down $8.3 million so far this year as many gamblers shift their dollars from the lotto to the state’s new casinos. (Baltimore Business Journal)
* An Arizona congressman reintroduced a bill that would ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy. (News4)
* The D.C. Circulator is expanding service, including access to the National Mall in 2014. (Washington Examiner)
* “The panel that sets hospital rates in Maryland is recommending that the state's hospitals absorb a 2 percent cut to Medicare as part of across-the-board federal spending cuts, a move strongly opposed by the hospitals.” (Washington Examiner)
* An AP analysis shows that grocery costs at Virginia’s Executive Mansion hit the highest levels in four years in late 2011 and early 2012. (AP)