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Massachusetts Considers Sales Tax Hike to Fund Transportation


 How Will Massachusetts Fund Transportation Plans?

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.

photo credit: learydotmark via photopin cc

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.