A sales tax shifts the cost of roads built for heavy trucks onto the public; and the public is not the only trucking customer. What is posed as keeping down the cost of goods also benefits, and changes, the competitive landscape for transportation, especially for CSX, NS. and any shortlines. The public becomes the primary provider of roads, not the road users.
The shift to a sales tax is regressive, an undue burden on the middle and low income folks and even worse for the poor.
A sales tax removes part of the incentive for fuel efficiency.
If Virginia is like other states, the shortfall in fuel taxes for road construction and maintenance is made up for from the general fund and a general burden on the public. Here again, the middle and low income folks wind up paying a higher effective tax rate. If the fuel tax, augmented by a vehicle-mile tax, would relieve the pressure on the general fund.