By May 19, 2017 Read More →

House Finance finishes overview of Parkways Authority Bill

By DAVID BEARD

The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — House Finance wrapped up its overview of HB 103, the Parkways Authority bill, Thursday morning — to provide the fodder to rewrite the bill.

Most of the questioning focused on the governor’s plan to offer all West Virginians a flat $8 fee to ride the turnpike — or any future tolled road — without paying tolls.

The purpose of this flat-fee program and a possible doubling of the turnpike tolls is to provide money for a possible $500 million bond, proposed by the governor, for road projects around the state.

Parkways bond counsel Brian Helmick told members that there are two ways to conduct the program. One is via a mandatory fee added to the annual vehicle registration fee paid to the DMV.

The problem with this method, Helmick said, is that in may violate federal interstate commerce laws.

The other, and probably better way, Helmick said is to adapt a method Parkways already uses: E-ZPass.

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