A statewide ballot question that would eliminate gas tax indexing will appear on the November ballot. The passage of Question 1 would be a step backward for the state, causing roads and bridges to fall into further disrepair.
The Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section has endorsed the Committee for Safer Roads and Bridges campaign and ASCE joins them in urging a “NO” vote on Question 1 on November 4th.
If the “Yes” votes pass the ballot measure, it would eliminate the requirement that the state’s gasoline tax:
(1) be adjusted every year by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index over the preceding year, but
(2) not be adjusted below 21.5 cents per gallon.
If the “No” votes defeat the measure, Massachusetts will see no change to the gas increases established by the Transportation Finance Act of 2013 and retain the ability to more adequately meet its infrastructure needs.
Our aging infrastructure can’t wait. Experts say that far too many of Massachusetts bridges are structurally deficient, with many more becoming functionally obsolete. Not only is public safety put at risk when critical transportation funds are cut, but it also impedes economic growth. A safe and reliable transportation system that enables us to move goods and services and commute to work is the backbone of our economy. Repealing the indexing feature of the state’s gas tax would be a step backward.
Allowing the gas tax to remain linked to the consumer price index will:
- Ensure the gas tax keeps up with need. We went 22 years without an increase in our gas tax causing us to fall behind other states and our roads and bridges to deteriorate.
- Enable Massachusetts to invest wisely in the creation and maintenance of infrastructure.
- Provide a more stable revenue stream so Massachusetts will not have to burden commuters and other motorists with tolls.
- Keep Massachusetts competitive in the national and global economy.
- Create jobs by maintaining a steady revenue stream that can fund investments in transportation.
Massachusetts is already woefully behind in preserving infrastructure, ranking 31st in the nation for the number of structurally deficient bridges – the top 10 of which carry a total 1.2 million cars each day. Don’t allow the state to fall further behind both putting drivers at risk and increasing the cost of repairs.
A vote “No” in November will allow Massachusetts to retain a projected $1 billion in dedicated transportation revenue over the next decade. Fifteen other states are already indexing their gas tax to inflation. Why not Massachusetts?
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