Governor promises no higher taxes under road bond

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice waves to the crowd as he delivers his inauguration speech, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Charleston, W.Va. (AP Photo/ Walter Scriptunas II)

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) – Gov. Jim Justice is promising West Virginia won’t further raise gas and highway taxes if voters approve a roads bond next week.

Addressing skeptical voters Friday at a senior center in Clarksburg, Justice says taxes are already in place to support bond payments.

Earlier this year, the Legislature voted to raise the variable minimum wholesale gas tax by 3.5 cents a gallon, increase the vehicle sales tax 5 to 6 percent and hike the motor vehicle registration fee from $30 to $50.

Early voting has already begun in the Oct. 7 referendum on issuing and selling $1.6 billion in bonds to finance road repairs and construction.

With federal matching funds, the governor says it should generate $2.4 billion for 600 projects and create 48,000 jobs directly or indirectly.

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