As for how tolls on the Turnpike might be increased to pay for road bonds, the report specifically looks at current state turnpike systems in Ohio and Pennsylvania:
In Ohio, state legislators increased turnpike tolls by 10 percent in 2013, with 2.7 percent increases scheduled annually between 2014 and 2023.
In Pennsylvania, turnpike tolls were increased by 25 percent in 2009. That Pennsylvania bill also allows additional annual increases based on inflation rates.
Greg Barr, general manager of the West Virginia Parkways Authority, said the "open system" that allows free access to most turnpike entrances "allows a lot of free travel on the Turnpike."
Barr said frequent Turnpike users can also save 35 percent of their toll costs by purchasing E-ZPass cards.
Delegate Margaret Staggers, D-Fayette, said the majority of local residents oppose any toll increases on the Turnpike.
Pizatella also said, "There is no intention to move the Turnpike away from public employees to privatization," as has happened in some other states.
The commission is also looking at other ways to raise money, including increasing annual vehicle registration fees in West Virginia by $20 million a year.
The state could also shift sales taxes collected from vehicle-related purchases -- such as new batteries or tires -- from the state's General Fund into the state's Road Fund.
The Blue Ribbon Commission previously voted to support a motion from Jan Vineyard, a Commission member and chairwoman of the Legislative and Public Outreach Committee, to deposit all money from a proposed Internet fairness tax into the state Road Fund. That proposed tax would impose state sales taxes on items purchased on the Internet.
West Virginia, Vineyard pointed out, has the sixth-largest state highway system in the nation. In most states, counties and municipalities own and maintain a much higher percentage of roads than they do in West Virginia.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.