Let’s Be Real

As most of you know, we strongly supported the principles of the Campaign for Our Communities– significant revenue, raised progressively, for transportation, education and other vital services.

We lost that battle back in April but we have one final opportunity to at least get thecompromise we settled for – $805 million in REAL money.

The current transportation funding bill counts on $135 million in annual toll revenue that in factdisappears in 2017 (when previously enacted legislation ends the Western Turnpike tolls).

Last week, the Governor filed an amendment to deal with that shortfall. It simply says that, if and when the tolls come down, the shortfall will addressed by a further increase in the gas tax – at least an additional three cents.

During the Senate transportation funding debate a similar amendment was offered by Senator Pat Jehlen – and, although defeated, garnered 11 votes.

Leadership has said that the amendment places “too high a burden on the taxpayers of our State.”  And they used the current recovery as an excuse for a gas tax increase that MIGHT go into effect in 2017.

Let's talk about tax burdens 

 

Their protest is patently dishonest. $200 million in fare increases was already built in to the revenue package because the Legislature refused to raise the income tax on the wealthiest residents.

And the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (no friend of revenue) indicated before the revenue debate that they actually preferred a 9-cent increase in the gas tax. Asking those who use our roads and bridges to pay their fair share makes sense. And telling the truth about what’s really in the revenue package is a necessity.

We are calling on all progressive members of the House and the Senate to lead the charge. Be honest with the people of Massachusetts. We needed $1.2 billion in new revenue for Transportation — and the Legislature settled for $805 million.  Make sure we get the money we agreed to.

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment


CONNECT
ISSUES AND ACTION
to access member exclusive material, login
via facebook or via Twitter