CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia tax authorities report collections rose to $73.6 million for the state road fund in July, the first month of higher taxes and fees to support it, exceeding last year’s collections by almost $16 million.

The Legislature this year approved increasing variable minimum wholesale gas tax by 3.5 cents a gallon, the vehicle sales tax from 5 to 6 percent and the vehicle registration fee from $30 to $50.

The measures were pushed by Gov. Jim Justice to help fund a major road repair and rebuilding program statewide intended to spur the state economy.

Nick Casey, Justice chief of staff, says severance taxes collected on natural gas, coal and oil production were $25.6 million in July, about 80 percent higher than the same month last year.