West Virginia voters back $1.6 billion roads bonding

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — With most precincts reporting, West Virginia voters are overwhelmingly agreeing to issue $1.6 billion in state bonds to repair and build roads and bridges.

The Secretary of State’s office reports 81,160 voted in favor and 31,038 opposed in results from 90 percent of precincts.

The state lists more than 600 planned projects.

The Republican-controlled Legislature this year approved taxes and fees to support bond repayments, which Gov. Jim Justice signed into law.

They raised the variable minimum wholesale gas tax by 3.5 cents a gallon, increased the vehicle sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent and hiked the motor vehicle registration fee from $30 to $50.

The West Virginia Republican Party Executive Committee opposed the bonding, saying it would commit the state to 25 years of interest payments.