BOSTON (WWLP) – Business and municipal leaders are pressing for what they call “radical” reforms and new revenues for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). It could mean higher fees and taxes for Massachusetts residents, even for those who do not have access to the “T.”
Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council CEO and President Rick Sullivan said, “no one is naïve to the fact that you can make investments and repairs if you don’t have the revenue.”
MBTA Commuter Rail Service was fully restored this week after a series of snowstorms paralyzed Boston’s public transit system for more than a month. While some may argue that it was years of mismanagement that led to the system’s failures, others blame a lack of investments. A portion of the state gas and sales tax already goes to the “T.” 22News asked Governor Charlie Baker whether western Massachusetts residents could be forced to pay even more fees or taxes to fund the transit authority.
He said, “I think we should always focus on management improvements and operational improvements before we focus on raising anything when it comes to going back to the taxpayers.”
Massachusetts voters repealed the 2013 law linking the state gas tax to inflation this past November. Any changes to the way residents are taxed must first be approved by your state lawmakers, and then signed by the governor.
A panel reviewing the transit authority plans to release their findings within the next couple weeks.