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MACDC Joins Coalition in Opposing Gas Tax Repeal

June 11th, 2014 by Kristina Egan

Last year, MACDC worked hard to secure new revenues for public transportation, which is so critical to many of the residents CDCs serve. The state made significant progress toward meeting the state's transportation needs with the 2013 Transportation Finance Act, which secured an average of $600 million in new funds for transportation. But now that progress is threatened by a ballot question. A group called “Tank the Gas Tax” is likely to qualify a question for this November’s ballot that would repeal the recently-passed law that ties the gas tax to inflation. 

A broad and strong coalition of organizations, including MACDC, has come together to oppose a ballot question that would repeal gas tax indexing. The coalition includes public safety, public health, and consumer advocates, businesses, the construction and engineering industries, and environmental, social justice, and civic groups. 

If the ballot question passes this November, it will cut transportation funding that would be used to enhance regional bus service, make the MBTA more reliable and safer, and improve the safety of the state's crumbling bridges and congested roads. 

What We Stand to Lose: 

  • $1 Billion. Gas tax money is constitutionally dedicated to transportation. Without gas tax indexing, we will lose over $1B in the next 10 years for transportation.
  • Our Safety.  According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 42% of Massachusetts roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and 43% of bridges are functionally obsolete. Our top ten most traveled, structurally deficient bridges carry an average of 1.2 million cars each day. For the safety of all Massachusetts residents, we need to fix our roads and bridges now.
  • Jobs. Losing money for transportation means that we won’t have adequate resources for critical transportation investments that will grow jobs and the economy. For instance, if the legislature had not acted, Massachusetts could have faced losses of up to 15,000 jobs and as much as $11 billion in increased operating costs due to a deteriorating transportation network.
  • Momentum for better transportation. Legislators intended to invest significant new resources in our transportation system and spoke of the new law as an important first step that needs to be followed by further legislative actions to improve transportation. Rolling back a significant piece of transportation funding will put a full stop to the momentum that has been built and significantly reduce chances of addressing the remaining transportation funding gap.

Please spread the word to your family, friends and neighbors that this ballot question will move the state backwards.  Ask them to vote “no” in November on this repeal.

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