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A great time to increase a tax

Right before the opening pitch. Of course, they could steal a page from Mitt Romney and call it a fee.

Speaking of taxes, Sean Roche makes the case for increasing the state gasoline tax from 21 cents a gallon - where it's been since 1991 - to 40 cents a gallon:

... The current gas tax pulls in $600 million per year. Raising it to 40 cents would reap an additional $629 million per year (at $34 million in revenue per cent of gas tax). Think that wouldn't help ease the difficulties we're having paying to maintain our transportation infrastructure?

This isn't just a mathematical game to bolster the argument for a higher gas tax. The cost of maintaining our transportation infrastructure is closely tied to the cost of gas. Revenue from the gas tax ought to rise proportionally with the price of gas. ...

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Comments

This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Between the tolls and the price per gallon we are already at, what the hell is anyone supposed to do? Does anyone else realize this is a recession besides my wallet?
god this is stupid. Just another way to bring in funds to allot to the fat cats!
I raise my fist!

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You can miss the highest cost gas season of the year if you ride a bike or take the T. Heck, do both - I used to go to Lowell every day. If you examine your options, you may find ways to use less fuel that you didn't realize you had.

The gas tax is but a small part of the cost of gas, and hasn't kept pace with general inflation (let alone the trebling of fuel prices).

I'm not too sure that I want to see more of it, however, because the medieval constitution of this fair commenwealth makes it impossible to link that gas tax increase to improving the crumbling road situation.

I do realize it is a recession. My wallet hasn't taken that much of a hit, even with 2 kids, 2 adults, and a 20-25 mpg vehicle. That's because we long ago organized our lives to be less dependent on any one travel mode, including the car.

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I was cool enough

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I'm with you Swirlygrl. If the increased tax money were dedicated to public transit, or at least to transportation, I wouldn't care how much they increased the tax, just as I wouldn't care if they put fast-lane tolls on every road in the Commonwealth. The "use tax" is a sadly forgotten mechanism in these parts. However, as the extra money just ends up in the general state coffers, there's no telling what will become of it and the roads and rails will just keep crumbling.

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You're right, no more taxing people who drive. Let the roads and bridges take care of themselves!

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The dufus-thief-fired Big Dig head Michael Lewis
has his pension tripled by the Commonwealth:

boston.com/...04/05/former_big_dig_chiefs_firing_boosted_pension/

But yeah, more taxes are a great idea, since we've
clearly rooted out all the fat and excess in state government.

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You guys should be economists. The cost of goods is already skyrocketing, and would only increase with more transportation related taxes. That would really help the economy. Taxing us to death is not the solution. I know we can't all be as perfect as swirlygirl (or as perfect as she thinks she is), but some of us commute well beyond biking distance and/or have to drop off kids in the morning.

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Just sayin...

You guys should be economists. The cost of goods is already skyrocketing, and would only increase with more transportation related taxes. That would really help the economy.

Taxing us to death is not the solution.

I know we can't all be as perfect as swirlygirl (or as perfect as she thinks she is), but some of us commute well beyond biking distance and/or have to drop off kids in the morning.

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that is a truly bizarre post. cutting and pasting someone else's words, but putting an incomprehensible and grammatically incorrect heading to somehow make it appear that you have some level of intelligence. what is the point?

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You can fix it if you want. Femme.fatale knows that about which I am talking.

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someone with thought beyond their charlie card that reads this site!
i concur.

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Or just go to Detroit and see what crumbling and outdated infrastructure do for a regional economy.

At least a bike can get around potholes and get over bridges closed to cars.

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It is easy and cheap and legal too! Buy less gas, save big!

Oh, and I drop off my kids in the morning too - but we walk together or bike together. We very intentionally bought in a convenient area with public transport and schools nearby (3/4 mile to elementary, 1/4 mile to high school, 2.5 mi to the middle school) because we knew that gas prices would skyrocket again one day and we didn't want to be trapped. Any economist could have told you this was inevitable.

I commuted to Lowell at one point (27 miles), my husband to Waltham (15 miles). Both were possible without a car because we take our bikes on the commuter rail.

I think the high gas prices are keeping our housing value high, too. I bet an economist could explain that.

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Aren't paying my gas card. I leave predictions to Miss Cleo!

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Keeping our housing prices high? In the last two years, gas prices have risen steadily while housing values have plummeted. The mortgage crisis has more to do with it than gas prices. The market was also do for a correction after the ridiculousness of the late 90's/early 00's. Though public transit works for many people, it is not possible for most. And just because it worked for you does not make it great for everyone else. Due to the nature of my job, and age of my child, it is impossible. I certainly do not need an additional 40 cents (or whatever it is) a gallon.

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Where in Boston have housing prices plummeted again? Except a few dead-end crack slums in Dorchester, I mean.

Boston real estate hasn't plummeted, not downtown and not even in Roslindale (Zillow says my house is worth 10% more than when I bought it in 2004). The reasons for sustained real estate values in Boston include high gas prices, which give people economic motivation to live closer to their jobs and other necessities. (Of course, the main reason is that Massachusetts was already pretty well built-out and zoned-out, and didn't have a residential building boom in the 90s/00s.) But the fact that it costs more in gas to live in the burbs is one of the reasons Boston real estate is still a good investment... and why the burbs are the slums of the future.

Driving less really is the only solution. Gas prices aren't going to go down. The sooner we adjust to that, the less good money we'll throw after the bad.

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