In The News: Gas Tax

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Transit officials say repeal could cost $1b over decade

Nov 6 2017

By Nicole Dungca, The Boston Globe

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Taxpayers Foundation, who helped campaign against the repeal, said the vote could have serious long-term consequences for transportation funding that was given a boost last year. “When one looks at all of the various initiatives that this administration and others have put forward over the long-term, this will have an enormous impact on the state’s ability to fund those projects,” he said.
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2 Perspectives On Question 1: Eliminating Massachusetts Gas Tax Indexing

Oct 28 2014

By Sacha Pfeiffer, Radio Boston

Michael Widmer: “This is a traditional form of taxation, namely adjusting it to inflation…When you get a cost of living increase, you pay more in income tax… This happens to be tied to cents rather than percents, but the distinction is meaningless. This is a very common form of taxation. Let me put it in context: the last time the gas tax was raised, before 2013, it was increased to 21 cents in 1991. By 2013, that was worth 12 cents because of the loss of purchasing power. Now obviously, we can’t maintain our roads and bridges, and we have road and bridges that are unsafe, in poor condition, and in public transit as well.”
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Sorry state of Mass. roads costs drivers $8.3B a year

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Oct 22 2014

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Enterprise

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer and AAA Southern New England Director of Public and Legislative Affairs Mary Maguire, who are both vocal opponents of Question 1, spoke at TRIP’s press conference held in a Beacon Hill office building. Widmer said indexing is a “standard form of tax policy so that we don’t see our revenues depleted,” and Maguire said the current condition of Bay State roads is unsafe.
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Business groups defend gas-tax indexing with big money to defeat Question 1

Oct 20 2014

By George Donnelly, Boston Business Journal

In the latest filing on the Massachusetts Office of Political and Campaign Finance, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and A Better City, all business membership groups, contributed to defeat the ballot question.
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Question 1 opponents: Indexing gas tax is crucial

Oct 16 2014

By Brian Benson, The Weston Town Crier

But Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and an opponent of Question 1, said indexing the gas tax is similar to how some other taxes change. As the cost of goods rise, for example, people pay more dollars in sales tax.
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Ballot Question 1: Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing

Oct 9 2014

By Lana Jones, WBZ Radio

But Michael Widmer, head of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said that is not accurate. “This is very common to have an adjustment to reflect increases in cost of living, both for taxes and for benefit,” Widmer said.
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Question 1 foes: Gas-tax indexing repeal dooms roads

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Sep 24 2014

By Kyle Clauss, The Lowell Sun

Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the federal government is pushing for more responsibility for roads and bridges on the state level. A higher gas tax, Widmer said, would provide the state with revenue for transportation without a considerable burden on motorists -- between $5-$10 annually.
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Voters would pay for road fixes — close to home

Jul 24 2014

By Martine Powers, The Boston Globe

Andrew C. Bagley, director of research and public affairs at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said it’s natural for voters to care most about the roads and bridges they see every day — especially, he added, when they fear that they have become so outdated they are dangerous. “People understand the importance of transportation infrastructure,” Bagley said. “Particularly, they’re thinking about their concerns over safety as they begin to appreciate how much of our infrastructure is obsolete or substandard.”
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Automatic gas tax emerging as key campaign issue in Mass.

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May 26 2014

By Bob Salsberg, AP / Telegram & Gazette

''It's a tiny increase,'' said Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Yet it would generate significant revenue to help the state keep up with road and bridge maintenance, he said. Widmer said it was politically unrealistic to expect the Legislature to revisit the gas tax on its own anytime soon, given that it hadn't touched the tax in more than two decades.
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Massachusetts drivers not happy about increased state gas tax

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Aug 1 2013

By Dan Ring, The Republican

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he is opposed to the sales tax on software services, but he said the foundation supports the gas tax increase. "It's a small price to pay for maintaining roads and bridges, which generally speaking are in deplorable shape," he said. Widmer said the gas tax probably should have been raised by 8 cents a gallon. He estimated there is a shortfall of at least $1 billion a year just to maintain roads and bridges in Massachusetts.
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