Sunday, November 3, 2019

In the News: two articles on alternatives for gas tax and infrastructure revenues

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Just think about it: congestion pricing, managed lanes, tolling on routes other than just the Massachusetts Turnpike, money drawn from drivers being invested back into public transit, and a transportation system that could adapt to meet future needs.

That’s what most of a coalition of business groups supports asking the Legislature to tell the smartest minds in the state: start thinking seriously about the options for reducing congestion on roads, improving accessibility and service on public transportation, limiting greenhouse gas emissions and raising the money to pay for it in a fair and geographically-equitable way.

But in the meantime, get to raising the revenue necessary to take care of immediate needs - like structurally deficient bridges and poor roadway conditions - by taxing customers a little more for gasoline and increasing the fee built into ride service fares, much of the Massachusetts Business Coalition on Transportation agrees.

The consensus ranges from agreement among all but one group that the state needs additional revenue for transportation to very narrow majority support for specific approaches to raising that revenue. It came as the result of months of talks among the statewide group of chambers of commerce, research and planning firms, and industry associations."
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"Members of a powerful advocacy coalition are mounting an effort to include business tax measures in a revenue package designed to bankroll transportation investments, saying proposals that add to the costs of gasoline and tolls are too regressive and will only put a heavier burden on low-income and middle class residents.

House leaders are assembling a revenue plan for debate sometime in the next three weeks, but have not unveiled any specific revenue-raising proposals.

In a letter to supporters, Raise Up Massachusetts officials argued that any revenue package should include proposals to create a tiered corporate minimum tax, address offshore tax shelters used by businesses, and require businesses to publicly disclose their tax burdens. The group, which estimates its ideas would generate at least $250 million, says businesses need to kick in contributions toward needed investments."

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