Improving I-81 is a priority for the business community. As expressed in the Chamber’s recent op-ed on I-81, the ability to move goods and services is foundational to a strong business climate. Current conditions on I-81 are unsafe, unreliable, and impede commerce.

We are monitoring the following legislative proposals to fund improvements to I-81.

SB 1716 (Obenshain) / HB2718 (Landes):
Interstate 81; tolling; Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund. Authorizes the Commonwealth Transportation Board (the Board) to impose tolls on Interstate 81, subject to conditions and limitations set forth in the bill. If the Board implements the tolls, it would also be required to offer annual toll passes for passenger vehicles. Revenues from such tolls would be deposited in the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund, established by the bill, and be used for capital, operating, and improvement costs along the Interstate 81 corridor. In allocating such revenues, the Board would develop and update, in consultation with an Interstate 81 Committee established by the bill, an Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program.

SB1322 (Hanger): Tax on motor fuels. Imposes an additional 2.1 percent tax on motor fuels sold at wholesale to a retail dealer for sale in a locality along the Interstate 81 Corridor. The revenues from the tax would be deposited into an Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund, to be used by the Commonwealth Transportation Board to fund improvements along the corridor or to support debt to fund such improvements.

SB1470 (Edwards): Additional motor fuels tax. Imposes an additional motor fuels tax equal to five percent of the average wholesale price of gasoline on the sale of gasoline, gasohol, diesel, and alternative fuels. $300 million of the new revenues would be reserved for improvements to Interstate 81, and the remainder would be distributed pursuant to existing allocation formulas for statewide transportation needs.