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Please urge your state senator to vote NO on the Senate’s transportation-only tax bill

The MTA and other members of the Campaign for Our Communities are urging state senators to reject the transportation-only tax plan approved by the state Senate Ways and Means Committee on April 9. Go here to send a message to your senator. The Senate could begin debate very soon, so don’t wait.

The Senate bill is substantially similar to a measure approved in the House on Monday that raises $500 million, most of it by increasing gas and tobacco taxes. All of the new funds are earmarked for transportation projects.

The MTA is asking senators to push for a broader measure that raises substantial new revenues, is more progressive and allocates significant new funding to early childhood education, K-12 public schools and public higher education.

Governor Deval Patrick called the legislative proposal “a short-term fiscal shell game” and has vowed to veto it. He has repeatedly called for a compromise somewhere between his plan and what the House and Senate are seeking.

In his budget, the governor had proposed a $1.9 billion revenue increase, with $900 million targeted to education and $1 billion to transportation improvements. Most of the new funds would come from raising the income tax rate while also raising the personal exemption to reduce the impact on low- and middle-income taxpayers. By contrast, the tax hikes in the House and Senate plans would fall more heavily on those taxpayers and less heavily on the wealthy.

MTA President Paul Toner said, “We are going to work with the other 125 members of the Campaign for Our Communities to continue to make the case for raising and allocating the revenues needed to keep our communities healthy, our students well educated and our economy strong.”

The Campaign for Our Communities is a coalition of labor, human services, civic and religious organizations seeking revenue and spending plans that make Massachusetts a great place to live, work and raise a family.