List of MA Lawmakers Opposed to TCI Continues to Grow
BOSTON – A coalition of organizations hailing every state currently considering membership in the controversial Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) today delivered a letter to government officials voicing their opposition to the ill-conceived proposal. On behalf of Massachusetts, representatives of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, the National Federation for Independent Business, and Citizens for Limited Taxation all signed the missive outlining their many concerns with the plan. Today, TCI is expected to release their memo of understanding and the 12 states (and DC) will have an opportunity to join the agreement in the spring. Governor Baker has touted the plan works because it’s a regional approach but it’s far from certain that all twelve states will enroll in the Spring. Neighboring NH and VT have already signaled their lack of enthusiasm for the controversial agreement.
“Unlike motor fuel taxes levied to pay for roads, bridges, and transportation infrastructure (a reasonable fee for use), the TCI would be the equivalent of a “sin tax” – a penalty for engaging in bad behavior. We do not believe that driving to and for work, transporting children to school, transporting goods, going to the grocery store, and all the other necessary activities that generally require a vehicle should be treated by governments as a sin. These are not activities people can, or should be forced to, avoid,” said the signers in their letter which was delivered to Governor Baker and all members of the Massachusetts legislature.
“Opposition to the TCI gas tax scheme grows every day. The more people learn about the extremes of this tax and the undemocratic way it’s being forced upon residents, the less popular it becomes” said Paul D. Craney, spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“The TCI tax is a poorly conceived, fundamentally regressive, and economically damaging proposal. It would — on purpose — make the day-to-day transactions of life painfully expensive, especially for those of us who are going through bad times and are struggling every day to get by. Government should not do this to its citizens. Government exists to serve the people, not to bend them to the will of elite opinion. For these philosophical and financial reasons, states should reject the TCI at the first available opportunity,” closed the signatories in their letter.
In addition to the coalition letter, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance also announced a major expansion in the list of legislators who are opposed to TCI and are seeking an opportunity to bring it before the scrutiny of the legislature. The list currently includes Senators Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton), Dean Tran (R-Fitchburg), Don Humason(R-Westfield), and Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth), as well as State Representatives Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk), Alyson Sullivan (R-Whitman), Dave DeCoste (R-Norwell), Lenny Mirra (R-West Newbury), Peter Durant (R-Spencer), Nick Boldyga (R-Southwick), Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica), Paul Frost (R-Auburn), Tim Whelan (R-Brewster), Donnie Berthiaume (R-Spencer), and Colleen Garry (D-Dracut).
“Our coalition is constantly adding new members to its ranks,” noted Craney. “We strongly urge all members of the legislature to join us in opposition to this undemocratic and regressive tax scheme and demand a vote is taken by the legislature.”
A copy of the coalition letter is available by clicking here.