Locals protest Massachusetts automatic gas tax

Gas taxes automatically increase every year

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Residents in West Springfield tonight raised their voices to stop the state’s automatic gas tax increase.

Right now, gas taxes automatically increase every year based on the Consumer Price Index, or C.P.I., which is tied to inflation. That means when the cost of living goes up, so will the cost of driving your car.

“Let’s raise taxes, they never have an alternative, it’s always lets just raise taxes,” said Richard Sourcinelli, who hopes to repeal the gas tax law.

However, you’ll have a say in the matter when you vote in November. If you vote “Yes” on Question 1, you’d vote to eliminate the automatic increase. Voting “No” would keep the current law, which allows that annual adjustment.

Those tax dollars that you do spend at the pump go towards the Department of Transportation to fund road projects statewide. That’s why some residents say, they don’t mind paying it.

“I do think it’s very important to keep the roads maintained,” said Olivia Bordowski of West Springfield. “Winter time is usually horrible, especially on the main roads like Route 5. It’s usually bad all times of year.”

Gov. Patrick signed the law last year linking the gas tax to the cost of living. One state representative says it was a bad idea. “When gas goes up, CPI goes up. In Massachusetts, when CPI goes up, now gas goes up. So it’ll be an ever-increasing cycle, and that’s why it’s a bad model,” said Rep. Geoff Diehl, of the 7th Plymouth District.

The gas tax is one of four ballot questions you’ll vote on this November. If voters decide to eliminate the automatic gas tax, future taxes would require a vote in the legislature.

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