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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inching along in the slow lane

Well, I think we're looking at a gas tax increase in Massachusetts. The only question is how much.

At long last, Gov. Deval Patrick is moving toward spreading the pain of the Big Dig by voicing interest in upping the state's 23.5 cent gasoline tax which was last raised in 1991. Regular readers know I have a problem with motorists from the west (and now the north) bearing the burden for road projects that primarily benefit folks from the south.

The long overdue movement (not quite yet a decision) comes with strings: that it be used only for transportation and eliminate the need for future toll hikes -- or even toll booths.

Good strings.

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Mike Widmer thinks 20 cents a gallon would do the trick: 12 cents from the billions in necessary repair and construction projects; four cents for tolls and four cents for the T.

Also sounds good.

But is there the political will to do that with the economy crumbling around us -- even with gasoline prices currently sitting below $2 a gallon?

That's the $19 billion question.

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Anonymous John Gatti Jr said...

Gas Taxes, Turnpike and Tunnel Tolls expansions should be taken off the table and not even be considered upfront.

The time has come for Massachusetts to establish a new WARD Type Commission such as established during the Boston Government Scandal that forced the legislature to implement many government contracting reforms that seem to have eroded in recent years.

Government and the media should inform the Citizens and Taxpayers where previous gas tax increases that were previously promised to fix and repair all the dysfunctional roads and bridges. The guilty and enablers who got Massachusetts into this mess must be exposed and held accountable first. The failure to prosecute in criminal and Civil Courts the truly guilty is deplorable and an insult to all Massachusetts citizens.

To do any increases to the taxpayer without insuring again independent proper government oversight and accountability that is truly independent and staffed to stand up to bad construction practices and the many special interests of contractors, bankers, bonding companies, insurers, consultants, out of touch labor bosses, and campaign contributions take Massachusetts citizens for a ride again is wrong and will lead to a further disaster to Taxpayers and Citizens.


January 13, 2009 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four cents for the T isn't enough. 8 cents at a minimum would be good, 12 cents would be better. The T is in such bad financial shape that 4 cents would barely scratch the surface.

January 13, 2009 9:24 AM  

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