governor bob mcdonnell

Governor McDonnell Outlines Seven Transportation Improvements For Virginia

Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing increasing the share of sales tax and budget surpluses that are dedicated to transportation revenues. The Virginia Governor unveiled seven recommendations to improve transportation in Virginia during the Governor’s Transportation Conference in Norfolk.

“Transportation and economic development and prosperity are inextricably linked,” McDonnell said. “Whether it’s the infrastructure needed to move people and goods, or certain transportation-related industries poised for major growth and job creation, we must continue to make progress in improving our transportation networks if Virginia is to remain economically competitive.“

McDonnell has recommended increasing the portion of the sales tax from 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent over the next eight years. His plan would include increasing the sales tax to 0.55 percent in the next fiscal year, which would mean an additional $110 million for transportation maintenance. He also recommends using 75 percent of year-end budget surpluses for transportation.  He will continue to roll out new transportation initiatives over the next few weeks.

The five other recommendations introduced Thursday are:

  • Authorizing the Commonwealth Transportation Board to implement a version of tax-increment financing. When the state funds a major new piece of transportation infrastructure, transportation should receive a portion of the growth in state tax revenues that result from economic development surrounding the project. These revenues will be reinvested in additional projects that can help spur additional development. 
  • Proposing that the first 1 percent in revenue growth over 5 percent each year be dedicated to transportation.
  • Expanding VDOT’s Revenue Sharing Program to include maintenance. Currently, the state will match local money dollar-for-dollar on capital improvements within a locality.  Enabling maintenance projects to be eligible for this program will help make our maintenance dollars go farther. 
  • Legislation to restructure and fund the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority and turn it into a true independent agency to develop the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport into the number one commercial space flight facility in the nation.
  • Legislation to promote the Port of Virginia by eliminating some of the bureaucratic processes with which the Virginia Port Authority must comply and creating the I-85 Connector Economic Development and Promotion Zone, wherein companies shipping goods through the port or engaged in maritime commerce can operate income tax free for their first two years in operation.
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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Indicted On Corruption Charges

The former Republican governor and his wife were indicted Tuesday on corruption charges stemming from their acceptance of gifts from a Virginia donor.

Federal authorities charged former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife with illegally accepting gifts from a Virginia donor in exchange for helping promote the donor’s business.

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted on 14 counts in a Richmond federal court, the Washington Post reported.

The McDonnells accepted more than $165,000 in loans and gifts, including a Rolex inscribed personally for Bob McDonnell, from Jonnie R. Williams Sr. The McDonnells promoted Williams’ business, and helped Williams meet with Virginia officials.

The couple was informed late last year they were going to be indicted, but authorities later deferred the decision about whether to indict to the new year.

McDonnell, a Republican, was elected in 2009 and concluded his single term this month.

Virginia's Agricultural Chain Expands To India

Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has hired a consultant to promote the commonwealth’s agricultural products in India.

Atul Khana, founder and president of New Delhi-based i2iConsulting, will work with the department and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore to expand Virginia’s exports to India.  In 2010, Virginia’s agricultural exports to India were valued at $3.2 million.

“Although the combined value of Virginia’s agricultural exports recently reached an all-time high and continue to grow, developing new customers for our export products will ensure that agriculture and forestry remain Virginia’s top industries and help grow our economy in the future,” Haymore said in a statement.

Khana specializes in importing and promoting agricultural products and is also a specialist in global cold chain logistics.

Gov. Bob McDonnell is currently on a two-week trade mission to Israel and India.