April 10, 2013
Boston – Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate Republican Caucus to unveil their Transportation Finance Reform Plan at a State House press conference this afternoon. The plan is an amendment to Senate Bill 1766, “An Act Relative to Transportation Finance,” which is pending debate. The GOP plan seeks to raise revenue for transportation and education priorities through reform and pre-existing sources and without increasing taxes or fares.
“At a time when the Commonwealth is struggling financially, so many are quick to fall back on tax increases,” said Senator Ross. “I believe that we, as a Legislature, need to look inwards to address the areas that can be improved fiscally, rather than turning to higher taxes. The Republican Caucus is seeking to find this revenue in preexisting sources and through extensive reform of current financial and operational policies, rather than by levying such excessive tax increases on the hardworking citizens and businesses of the Commonwealth.”
The plan introduces a variety of measures designed to establish new sources of revenue and maximize savings within the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The plan requires DOT to focus on existing transportation and financial needs prior to instituting any growth or development. Features of the amendment include:
- No increase in taxes
- Prioritization and appropriation of gaming revenue
- Meeting immediate transportation needs to reach a state of good repair for the Commonwealth’s infrastructure
- Requiring performance and savings prior to spending additional funds
- Making available $2.031 billion over the next five years for transportation, education and other priorities
- Creating five year planning timeframes for capital expenditures
In addition, the GOP plan intends to require various mandates of the 2009 Transportation Reform Act be put into use. Countless requirements of the act have been underutilized, and even ignored, since the reforms were signed into law. Compelling DOT to execute these reforms will produce a projected $6 billion in savings.
Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.