Top Mass. lawmakers reveal transportation plan
BOSTON (WHDH) -- House and state leaders have agreed on a plan which would raise $500 million in revenues, including increases in state gasoline and cigarette taxes. But it’s not as much as Gov. Deval Patrick would like.
The plan announced Tuesday rejects a $1.9 billion revenue plan proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick that included a hike in the state income tax to pay not only for modernizing the state's transportation system, but also for new education initiatives.
“We consider the governor a partner in this. He put out a 10-year vision, we’re just saying 10 years is too ambitious right away, in fact we should be investing in transportation every year,” said Senate President Therese Murray.
Under the plan outlined by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Murray and other key Democratic lawmakers, the gasoline tax would increase by 3 cents per gallon, costing a typical driver between $12 and $30 a year.
The proposal also calls for a $165 million increase in taxes on cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco. It would also make some changes in business and corporate taxes.
It would also make some changes in business and corporate taxes.
The money will pay for a variety of things including funding for regional transit authorities, knocking down the MBTA’s budget deficit and stopping the practice of paying workers with borrowed funds.
“I believe, anyways, that this revenue proposal here today takes care of -- addresses -- all of those issues,” said DeLeo.
There was a rally at the Statehouse Tuesday. Protesters asked for more spending to improve the transportation system.
“We can’t have a band-aid approach. We’ll kick the can down the road for another generation and we’ll be right back here again,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Somerville.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.