Transportation Governors Amendment

July 18, 2013                                               

Boston – Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) voted against Governor Deval Patrick’s amendment to the transportation finance legislation passed by the Legislature in June. Governor Patrick returned the bill to the Legislature due to his belief that the new taxes included in the bill would not fulfill the $800 million he feels is needed for transportation funding. Concurring with the House, the Senate voted in support of the amendment striking down the Governor’s plan to increase the gas tax even further than the bill originally stipulated.

“I maintain the position that it is irresponsible to saddle the hardworking taxpayers of the Commonwealth with such excessive and egregious tax increases,” said Senator Ross. “Massachusetts continues to struggle with economic uncertainty, and now is not the time to increase the hardships placed upon the taxpayers. We must look inward, addressing areas in need of reform and increased efficiency, rather than delegating this responsibility to the residents of the Commonwealth.”

The legislation passed by the House and Senate includes $500 million in tax increases to fund the state’s transportation system. Among the tax increases are an additional 3 cents per gallon on gasoline and an additional $1 per pack on cigarettes. The 6.25% sales tax will also be imposed on computer system design services.

Senator Ross was disappointed not to see two amendments he filed related to the tax on gasoline included in the bill. One proposal would have directed that 70 cents of every dollar collected as part of the gas tax be spent on capital projects and improvements in the highway district where that tax was collected. His second amendment would have provided municipalities with an exemption from the gas tax, much like the sales tax exemption currently in place.

Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.

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