Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance made the following statement today regarding the Reason Foundation’s new rankings for their 27th annual highway report, which rates state highway systems on cost versus quality.
This year, while Massachusetts’ overall highway system rankings have seen some improvements, the Commonwealth continues to rank as one of the most inefficient states in the country for how it spends taxpayer dollars on “maintenance” and “administrative” costs. These two categories are critical in determining how efficiently taxpayer money is spent, especially when elected leaders claim they need more revenue from the taxpayers.
Overall, Massachusetts is currently the 3rd highest in the country for how much we spend on administrative costs per lane mile at $17,528. This figure is the highest in New England and is significantly higher than the national average of $5,342. For future “expected disbursements per mile,” we are predicted to become the 2nd highest state. For the current maintenance category, Massachusetts is the 8th highest in the country at $32,754, while the national average is $14,546. For future expected disbursements per mile, Massachusetts is predicted to become the 2nd highest in the country at $55,504. A breakdown of the New England states can be found below.
“With the narrow passage of the income tax surcharge, it’s clear Massachusetts doesn’t need any more money from its taxpayers and should be focusing its priorities on becoming more economically competitive with New Hampshire and Florida, the top states which Massachusetts are currently leaving for in record numbers. Today’s Reason Foundation rankings show Massachusetts is among the most inefficient states in the country for how taxpayer money is spent on two very important categories, the ‘administrative’ and ‘maintenance’ disbursement cost per mile. These two categories speak directly to how our elected leaders manage taxpayer money on important infrastructure needs. If Massachusetts continues to be the highest in New England, among the highest the country, and more than double the national average, Massachusetts taxpayers’ money will be needlessly wasted,” said Paul Diego Craney, spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“With the passage of the income tax surcharge, taxpayers are now paying more in taxes now than they were a year ago. It’s time for Governor Maura Healey, Speaker Ron Mariano, and Senate President Karen Spilka to step up and do their part in making Massachusetts more affordable and efficient with how they spend taxpayer money. We cannot continue to be among the costliest states in the country if we want to be economically competitive,” concluded Craney.