Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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September 20, 2013

W.Va. highway panel recommends turnpike toll increase, $1B bond issue

CHARLESTON —  A panel established by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recommends increasing tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike to finance up to $1 billion in bonds for highway projects.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the Blue Ribbon Commisson on Highways finalized its recommendation Thursday. Supporters of the plan say the increased tolls would pass along the cost of road maintenance to out-of-state residents.

The commission supports increasing tolls for the next 30 years to generate between $600 million and $1 billion. By selling bonds, the state could use those revenues immediately.

Jason Pizatella, chairman of the commission and Tomblin’s deputy chief of staff, noted that the proposal needs the support of the governor and the Legislature before the state Parkways Authority could enact it.

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