Tag: gas tax

HANDOUT: Gas Tax Indexing is Necessary for Meeting Mode Shift Goals

HANDOUT: Gas Tax Indexing is Necessary for Meeting Mode Shift Goals

This is an informational handout that was part of the 2014 Bike/Walk Summit presented by MassBike and WalkBoston.

The Issue – The Transportation Finance Bill (H. 3535), passed during the current legislative session, includes a provision for indexing gas tax to inflation – meaning that the gas tax will allow for continued funding of transportation investments by rising incrementally with inflation.

A group called “Tank the Gas Tax” has qualified a question for the November 2014 ballot that would repeal the indexing of gas tax to inflation. The referendum proponents have incorrectly stated that the indexing money goes to the General Fund, rather than for transportation.

Without indexing, we will lose over $1B in the next 10 years.* Construction costs are expected to increase approximately 3% annually over the next several years, and we will be unable to keep up with this growth in costs without indexing. Biking and walking infrastructure is paid for through transportation funding, and without gas tax indexing it will be much more difficult for Massachusetts to reach the goal of tripling the share of trips made by biking, walking, and transit by 2030.

Losing this needed money for transportation means that we won’t have adequate resources to make the critical transportation investments that will grow jobs and the economy. For instance, if the legislature had not acted, Massachusetts could have faced losses of up to 15,000 jobs and as much as $11 billion in increased operating costs due to the deteriorating transportation network.*

The Ask – We need the support of our legislators to make sure that this significant piece of transportation funding does not get rolled back in November.

Ask our legislators to vocally oppose the repeal of gas tax indexing to preserve funding for transportation investments. As active members of the Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) Coalition, MassBike and WalkBoston are asking legislators to join  their constituents and the 23 organizations of T4MA – representing the business sector, public health, and transportation – from across the Commonwealth who are opposed to repeal.

Bottom Line – The repeal of gas tax indexing will jeopardize bike and pedestrian projects across Massachusetts by defunding crucial transportation investments, hurt our economy, continue the cycle of deferred maintenance, reverse the momentum for investing in infrastructure, and doom efforts to reach mode shift goals.

*Source: Transportation for Massachusetts (http://www.t4ma.org/)