The West Virginia Senate wants to study how the state funds its roads to see if there are alternatives to the gas tax.
The bill authorizing the study passed 24-10 Monday despite the objections of every Republican senator.
West Virginia relies heavily on gas taxes to fund its roads. As cars become more fuel efficient miles traveled continue to increase, but the revenue from gas taxes is not increasing at a corresponding rate.
The study would research alternate funding methods, including a tax on total miles traveled instead of gas used.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall said that the study was unnecessary because Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has ordered a blue ribbon commission to study the state’s highways. A report from that commission is expected in May.