Gas tax hike opponents turn in signatures

Seeking to have gas tax indexing question put on ballot

BOSTON (WWLP) –  Nearly a year ago, Massachusetts lawmakers voted to link the price of gas to inflation – so when the cost of living goes up, it’ll cost you more at the pump. Most people are opposed to increasing taxes, especially since the price of gas is skyrocketing, but taxpayers do reap the benefits from the extra state revenue.

In an effort to reverse this recent change, the “Stop Automatic Tax Hikes Ballot Campaign” hand delivered more than 19,000 signatures to the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

“If you been to the supermarket lately, you know the price of product on the shelves is soaring, and what’s so egregious about this tax is that nothing has more of an impact on a family budget than the price of gas,” said Steve Aylward of the Tank the Gas Tax Committee.

Backers of the ballot question want the state to return to its previous system, in which the Legislature had to vote to approve any possible gas tax hike. The recent change allows the tax to go up, without a vote.

Rep. Geoff Dehl (R-Whitman) is among the backers of the ballot question. He says it is about “making sure there is no taxation without representation, making sure the gas tax doesn’t go up without a vote, and making sure the hard working of this state are represented in the Legislature.”

There are benefits to raising the gas tax, especially in western Massachusetts, where a lot of the money is spent funding the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority in Springfield and on fixing roads and bridges.

Legislators project that the gas tax hike will cost the average Massachusetts driver about $30.00 each year.

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