Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

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Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby wicked » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:50 pm

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... story.html

Hope it's OK to start a separate thread on this, because it seems to me to be a worthy topic. Hiking the gas tax that much would seem to be a non-starter. I'm thinking the income tax would be the most equitable way to do it, if you had to raise taxes.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby jr145 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:31 pm

Ugh, I hate that man. Maybe he should try cutting spending first, there's a novel idea.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby frrc » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:09 pm

Been said many times, the 1st priority should be cutting out waste and other non needed expenses....
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby tom18287 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:12 pm

stop giving people free places to live forever
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby Choo Choo Coleman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:32 pm

Here is the link for the actual report:

http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/ ... _Jan13.pdf

I still don't know why South Coast Rail is being pushed at the expense of other projects.
Build it to Taunton and see if there is demand for further expansion down the line.

Does anyone have any info on the proposal to rehabilitate the Pittsfield to NYC tracks?
I haven't heard much on that one before. Maybe it could bring in some business to Pittsfield for NYC companies
who are looking for satellite offices for cheap money. It could also bring people to the Berkshires for tourism.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby Rbts Stn » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:09 am

tom18287 wrote:stop giving people free places to live forever




Ahhh, empty the prisons!



Just like with the "Proposed MBTA Fare Increases" we've seen over the past couple of years, these proposed tax increases are the same thing: A starting point for negotiation.

If the Governor asks for a $.30 increase in the gas tax, and a .41% increase in the income tax and a 1.5% increase in the sales tax, that means he's looking for a $.15 increase in the gas tax (which hasn't been raised in what, 30 years while gas prices have gone up about tenfold?) and a .2% increase in the income tax, and there won't be another change in the sales tax.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby MarkB » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:43 pm

Rbts Stn wrote:


he's looking for a $.15 increase in the gas tax (which hasn't been raised in what, 30 years while gas prices have gone up about tenfold?)



This factiod comes up constantly. What, exactly, does the price of gas have to do with the proper gas tax rate? Does the state use the gas tax to buy gas? If the gas tax is intended to help pay for roads, then it should be indexed to the cost of maintaining roads - that is, inflation plus additions to the system.

There's something about public transportation that causes muddle-headedness. I'm not sure why, it just does. ;-0 I wouldn't have a problem with a gas tax increase, as long as it's kept in the highway system, and out of the gnarly hands of the public transportation trolls. If you want more money for the T, how about a public transportation user tax - you know, like the gas tax? It's called fare increases, and you can ask for one at any time you like.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby RailBus63 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:11 pm

frrc wrote:Been said many times, the 1st priority should be cutting out waste and other non needed expenses....


I agree that there is waste in all of the state's transportation bureaucracies that needs to be tackled, but let's be realistic - even if that waste magically disappeared tomorrow, the savings would amount to far less than the billions that are needed to pay for deferred maintenance and investments in the state's transportation infrastructure.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby Rbts Stn » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:58 pm

MarkB wrote:
Rbts Stn wrote:


he's looking for a $.15 increase in the gas tax (which hasn't been raised in what, 30 years while gas prices have gone up about tenfold?)



This factiod comes up constantly. What, exactly, does the price of gas have to do with the proper gas tax rate? Does the state use the gas tax to buy gas? If the gas tax is intended to help pay for roads, then it should be indexed to the cost of maintaining roads - that is, inflation plus additions to the system.

There's something about public transportation that causes muddle-headedness. I'm not sure why, it just does. ;-0 I wouldn't have a problem with a gas tax increase, as long as it's kept in the highway system, and out of the gnarly hands of the public transportation trolls. If you want more money for the T, how about a public transportation user tax - you know, like the gas tax? It's called fare increases, and you can ask for one at any time you like.


No one's ever said the gas tax is used to buy gas. It's always been supposed to be used for road maintenance and projects. And it's never been inflation indexed, which it should be, but the fear last time that was suggested was that gas prices might fall back under $2 so they'd lose all that revenue, so instead of doing something (% or $ increase) they did nothing.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby jr145 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:38 pm

The first steps should be to stop giving people permanent housing at our expense, and all but eliminate other social handouts. There are plenty of able bodied people that are being paid to sit at home and do nothing. Maybe we should put them to work. Have them handing out tickets on the pike instead of someone who is making $60k a year.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby rethcir » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:36 pm

I don't think that you are going to find a lot of overlap between libertarian practices and public transit advocacy.

Fact of the matter is, Patrick is probably the biggest advocate for responsible transit development in office since the Duke.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby Teamdriver » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:16 pm

Well, first off , they should exterminate the RK Greenway and try to extract some value from it. And with the same chop of the axe, loose the SC rail fantasy. A reasonable gas tax hike is ok if they dont pirate away the money. Maybe even allocate all the newly found Amazon.com sales tax revenue to transportation. Get the casinos rolling, and extract some revenue there before it goes to the trough and gets gobbled up.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby MBTA1016 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:18 pm

If anyone is interested the governor was having a press conference tonight on tv about this.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby tvachon » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:36 pm

He proposed dropping the sales tax to 4.5 and increasing the income tax by 1 percent. I wonder how that covers the 2B between mass dot and the education proposal
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby octr202 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:32 am

From what I've read, the Governor's proposal entails dedicating all of the 4.5% sales tax to transportation and infrastructure - sounds like they might even be talking about creating an "infrastructure trust fund." My guess is the other proposals (education) would be funded out of the income tax increase.

Without having seen hard numbers, hopefully this might mean that transportation and infrastructure might finally have a funding source that is both steady and sufficient. A lower sales tax will eliminate some of the bleed over into other states (NH excepted, but the lower rate will reduce the incentive to travel great distances to shop there), and with the move towards ending the online shopping loophole, hopefully this time the funds will actually be there. We all know what happened with forward funding and sales tax projections.

I've looked at the numbers and related it to my household. Looks like about a $400 increase annually for me. That's less than the annual increase in my T Pass costs after the last fare hike. If nothing is done, we're no doubt looking at an equally large or larger increase soon - so I guess I'd be paying for it one way or another.
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