1997 Session

Budget Amendments - SB700 (Conference Report)

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Coleman Bridge Compromise (language only)

Item 508 #1c

Item 508 #1c

Transportation, Department of

Page 337, line 46, strike "$15,880,800" and insert "$15,050,800"
Page 337, following line 46, insert:
"Toll Facilities Rebate $0 $830,000"
Page 338, after line 3, insert:
"It is the intent of the General Assembly that effective July 1, 1997, relief be granted from tolls levied on vehicles with three or more axles for transit across the Coleman Bridge.  Consistent with the Series 1994, Commonwealth of Virginia Transportation Facilities Bonds, and consistent with the Governor's certification thereof, the toll schedule approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board on May 18, 1995, shall not be reduced to effect this relief.  Rather, from July 1, 1997, through June 30, 1998, the holders of receipts for such tolls paid on vehicles with three or more axles shall be eligible to receive a rebate equal to fifty percent of such tolls paid.  This rebate shall be paid quarterly, beginning September 30, 1997, from a non-reverting trust fund which is hereby established.  The trust fund shall consist of $830,000 in interest earnings accruing to the Transportation Trust Fund.  A sum sufficient appropriation from such non-reverting trust fund is hereby appropriated for such purpose.  The Department of Transportation shall implement the provisions of this paragraph.  The automobile commuter toll of 50 cents for a round trip shall be retained in fiscal year 1998.  In addition, the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the State Treasurer, shall study the equity of the current toll structure, the elasticity of demand for three axle vehicles given the current toll structure, and optimum utilization of the toll facility by three axle vehicles.  The study shall examine financing options consistent with the projected revenues of this toll facility.  Such examination shall include a review of the potential for redeeming the Article X, §9(c) Series 1994, Commonwealth of Virginia Transportation Facilities Bonds with Article X, §9(a) debt.  Study results shall be reported to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 1997."

(This amendment allows vehicles with three axles or more to receive a rebate for one-half of the tolls paid to cross the Coleman Bridge. The funding for the rebate will come from a special non-reverting trust fund financed from $830,000 in interest on balances of the Transportation Trust Fund. In addition, a study is required by the Department of Transportation to determine the optimal financing arrangement for the Coleman Bridge.)