Mass. Gov. seeks change in transportation bill
BOSTON (AP) -- Gov. Deval Patrick is asking lawmakers to approve a change in a transportation finance bill that would allow an increase in the state gasoline tax if tolls are removed from the western portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike.
The bill on the governor's desk promises $800 million in new annual revenues for transportation within five years. But the administration contends that the legislation fails to account for revenue lost if tolls west of Interstate 95 are eliminated as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2017.
If lawmakers do not act to keep the tolls, Patrick's proposed amendment would authorize the state's revenue commissioner to adjust the gasoline tax to offset the anticipated loss of revenue.
The bill on Patrick's desk aims to upgrade the state's aging and debt-ridden transportation system and includes $500 million in new taxes.