Massachusetts Considers Sales Tax Hike to Fund Transportation
- Jan 15, 2013 | Gail Cole
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has released its 21st Century Transportation Plan. Designed to solve Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) debt challenges, the 10-year plan calls for $13 billion in statewide capital investment.
Governor Deval Patrick (D) called the plan "a stark, clear-eyed, non-partisan presentation of the facts." He said "we have to be willing to make the necessary investments. We must invest in transportation, not for the sake of transportation itself, but for the jobs and economic opportunity it creates."
Get Me the Money
This won't come cheap, and the report released by MDOT "acknowledges the need for additional revenue to meet its ambitious goals." Possible revenue sources include:
- an increase in the gas tax;
- an increase in the payroll tax;
- an increase in the sales tax or income tax;
- a new green fee on vehicle registrations;
- a vehicle miles traveled tax;
- a regular fee and toll increases; and
- a new tolling mechanisms.
Governor Patrick reminded that choices need to be made, and that "doing nothing is a choice, too." His choice? "[G]rowth." He is expected to "outline his plans" for funding that growth during his State of the State address next Wednesday.