Taxation without Representation Should Not be Tolerated by TCI
The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance is praising State Representative David DeCoste (R-Norwell) for his leadership in tackling the legislative response to the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). DeCoste is the author and lead sponsor of HD4711, An Act prohibiting the Commonwealth from participating in the transportation climate initiative, which would prohibit the Commonwealth from entering TCI or any similar program without the specific approval of the legislature. The bipartisan bill currently has thirteen sponsors.
“The manner in which TCI is being pursued is completely undemocratic and in violation of our state constitution, which very specifically mandates that these types of taxes originate from the House of Representatives,” said Paul D. Craney, spokesman for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“Even if Governor Baker believes he has the legal authority to by-pass the legislature, which is in dispute, he should still bring it before the legislature. The merits of TCI must be debated out in the open, and be approved or rejected by the legislature,” continued Craney.
“Representative DeCoste’s bipartisan bill continues to gain support every day. This bill is exactly the kind of bipartisan response we need to this abuse of executive power and we hope more legislators will stand up for their rights as elected representatives of the people and join in sponsoring the legislation,” Craney continued.
On December 17, TCI announced in their memo of understanding that under their proposal CO2 emissions in the transportation sector would be reduced by 1% to 6% over the next decade. TCI acknowledged that without passing TCI, transportation carbon emissions would decline by 19% during that same time. Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance believes not entering into TCI, while still seeing a 19% reduction in carbon emissions, is a much better solution.
“TCI is a carbon tax being administered through a gasoline and diesel tax. TCI would essentially impose a “sin tax” on gasoline and diesel similar to those on alcohol and tobacco products. Unlike smoking and drinking, driving isn’t optional for the hard-working residents of the Commonwealth,” concluded Craney.
The list of TCI opponents also continues to grow outside of Massachusetts. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced on December 17 that his state would be withdrawing from the TCI agreement after details of the plan were finally unveiled. Vermont Governor Phil Scott has repeatedly emphasized that he is against any and all carbon taxes, and even the Vermont AFL-CIO recently came out publicly against the TCI scheme.