Opinion: Halt the Automatic Gas Tax Hike by Voting ‘Yes’ on 1

Letter to the editor:
Ballot Question 1 offers taxpayers the opportunity to repeal the automatic gas tax, an increase put in place by the Legislature last July while we were enjoying the summer.

This tax is egregious on many fronts. First and foremost, it is a regressive tax, costing the poor, those with less money,  to spend more of their income on getting to and from work. Conversely, our legislators who voted for this tax increase, do not have to pay for their own gas, or the new tax. We pay them to travel to their work through “per diems,” a daily payment for going to their job.

But what makes this tax so insensitive to the people (us) is that the tax is linked to inflation; that means that the tax will go up without our Legislators even having to go to work to vote on it. This tax is automatic every year. It can never go down.

Funding for the advertising of this tax has come from big business, unions and trade associations. We the people/taxpayers are David. Those who might benefit from government spending are Goliath.

Opponents of this initiative will tell you that that we need the $1 billion to be  raised by this tax to pay for roads and bridges. But just in the past two fiscal years, the Commonwealth raised even more than it expected by $1.1 billion for roads and bridges. They have a surplus. They already have enough. But they still want more.

Send a message to greedy legislators. Vote yes on Ballot Question 1. Repeal the automatic gas tax hikes.

Tomi Olson

Bay State Road