What will we do when (not if) gas prices spike again?

New gas tax revenue will not be for existing programs
What will all of us do when the price of gasoline spikes up again?

By Matthew C. Patrick

Contrary to some of the comments I received, new gas tax revenue would not be for existing programs. It would be used exclusively for transportation purposes; to pay down the debts that Mass Pike and MBTA have incurred for necessary transportation infrastructure fixes, the big dig and new mass transit construction.

We owe the money and we can't walk away from it.

We owe the money and we can't walk away from it. We have already cut 2.5 billion out of the current budget and the Governor has proposed another 1 billion dollar cut for fy 10. We have cut human services programs to the bone. But this gas tax money will be dedicated to improvements in our transportation infrastructure, expanding mass transit and helping people of modest means buy fuel efficient vehicles or I won't vote for it. It will also put a lot of people to work.

What will all of us do when the price of gasoline spikes up again?
Whatif it doesn't go down? How will people get to work when they have maxedout their credit cards?

Ask yourselves these questions: What will all of us do when the price of gasoline spikes up again? What if it doesn't go down? How will people get to work when they have maxed out their credit cards to pay for gas? Do you think it is unlikely to happen again? Should we be prepared for it instead of hoping it never happens again?

I think it is my responsibility to point these things out. It's not easy advocating for a tax increase. Most legislators who are more concerned about the longevity of their career would never publicly endorse a new tax. But I think more of my constituents. I think they can handle reality and responsibility.

Mass. gas tax now about average for nation, NY and Conn. are doube ours

Massachusetts has a 23 cent gas tax that's about average for the nation. New York and Connecticut have double our gasoline tax. As far as total state and local taxes go as a percentage of our income, we rank about 36th according to the American Tax Foundation. People in Massachusetts are not overburdened with taxes and if you need something or you have to prepare for the eventual increase in fossil fuels, we as citizens of the Commonwealth dig down and invest our money in the future. It doesn't come free.

If you think I don't deserve to be in office then vote me out but I honestly don't see any alternatives to this proposal except for ignoring the inevitable future of increasing costs for fossil fuels and hoping everything works out.

Thanks for hearing me out and I'm happy to talk more with you. I make the rounds through the district every Friday except for this one. I'm in the Cotuit Library from about 10 am to about 12. Then I'm in the Mashpee town hall at 1 PM. Stop by to see me.

Thank you for considering my comments.

Matthew C. Patrick

 

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