Mass. drivers look to change state’s gas tax law

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– You may now have a chance to vote on changes to the state’s gas tax system in the November election.

The way it is now, every time you fill up your car with gas you pay $0.24 per gallon for tax.  That price is a three cent increase that was voted in by lawmakers last year as part of the transportation financing package. That tax cost will continue to go up, because the current law directly ties that tax to inflation.

Now tens of thousands of people, including many in Western Mass., said they want that to change.

“Well I think for people living in Western Massachusetts the gas tax is inherently flawed.  People in Boston don’t drive, so we are the ones paying the price on a gas tax like that,” Michael Clark, from Longmeadow, said.

Celine Gaudreau, from Longmeadow, told 22News the frequent increases concern her.  “I mean everybody’s pinching pennies, and the gas prices just keep going up and up and up, especially during the summer.  I mean that’s going to affect everybody’s vacations.  I really think that it’s time we really have more of a voice,” Gaudreau said.

Those behind the initiative to make that change say they collected and handed in 26,000 petition signatures, which they argue is more than double the number needed to make the issue a ballot question.

Others who support keeping the tax tied to inflation argue the funds are needed for the state’s transportation infrastructure improvements.

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