TRANSPORTATION

Report calls for tax, fee hikes to fund MassDOT

COURTESY MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
A NEW REPORT from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation calls for fare, fee and tax hikes to fund the transportation departments operations over the next 10 years.
Posted 1/14/13

BOSTON – A Massachusetts Department of Transportation report is proposing increases in fees as well as gas, sales and income taxes in order to fund the required $10 billion-plus revenue boost needed to run the Bay State’s transportation system, reported Boston.com.

The report – The Way Forward: A 21st-Century Transportation Plan – was released Monday and said the state needs to raise an average of $10.2 billion per year over the next 10 years to fully fund operations and implement improvement plans.

“We cannot adequately pay for the transportation system we have today, and the improved statewide system that our customers want is one we definitely cannot afford without additional funding,” the MassDOT board said in a blog post announcing the report.

According to Boston.com, the MassDOT plan recommended a number of options to boost revenue, including: a 0.16 percent transportation payroll tax that employers would pay on employees’ wages, a 30 cent increase per gallon in the existing gas tax, an increase in the state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 7.75 percent and an increase in the state’s income tax from 5.35 percent to roughly 5.66 perecnt.

The report mentioned other possible revenue sources including a “green fee” that would be added to existing title and registration fees and vehicle-miles-traveled tax of 2.4 cents per mile that would be collected either at an annual safety inspection or by an onboard device.

According to the news source, the report also mentioned that revenue could be increased by a “series of modest, regular increases to transportation fares, fees and rolls.”

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