Special session crucial to Southwest Va. transportationThey go on to express concern that the Coalfield Expressway and its Route 460 connector, as well as the Route 696 project in Tazewell County might be in jeopardy. Again.
By Charles Owens, Bluefield Daily Telegraph
TAZEWELL, Va. — When lawmakers return to Richmond Wednesday in hopes of resolving the statewide transportation funding question, the outcome of the legislative debate will be closely watched by officials in Southwest Virginia.“If there isn’t a statewide plan, we won’t benefit,” Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Russell, said of Southwest Virginia. “That’s the thing that concerns me more than anything else. Without a significant statewide plan, I don’t think the Senate will support regional plans. What would happen, there would be almost nothing in new money to other areas of the state.”
If lawmakers fail to strike a deal this week, any impact to Southwest Virginia would most likely be felt in the long term, Delegate Dan Bowling, D-Tazewell, said. (link)
The statewide plan that Puckett voted for, in case you forgot, involved a massive tax increase, an action he's never shied away from. Bowling being a Democrat, it can be assumed he favors one as well.
Remember this: Any increase in the tax burden here in Southwest Virginia will result in more job losses, more depopulation, and more economic hardship. It's time to decide what our priorities are.
We may get some nice roads when all is said and done. But WE may not be around to enjoy them.