In The News: Transportation

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Pioneer Institute transportation report stirs debate

Mar 28 2013

By Ira Kantor, The Boston Globe

Though Pioneer said raising T fares to reflect 45 percent of the system’s operating cost would save $61 million annually, the math, on the surface, would equate to hikes of at least 10 percent a year for five years, said Andrew Bagley of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association. Bagley added that a gas tax was the most efficient way of raising transportation revenues, but Pioneer’s incremental three-cent hike “sounds a little small and if it’s not indexed that seems like a missed opportunity.”
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For transportation secretary, Patrick’s bill means going into campaign mode

Mar 23 2013

By Martine Powers, The Boston Globe

“It’s really unprecedented,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, on Davey’s crusade. “In all my years, I don’t recall such a single-minded campaign by a nonelected state official.”
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Editorial: Time for state to invest wisely in education, transporation

Mar 23 2013

The Republican

As far as transportation is concerned, we sympathize with the position of Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, who argues that the most appropriate way to raise funds for transportation is from user taxes and fees. We support a modest increase in the gas tax with future increases tied to the cost of living.
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Patrick's transportation tax plan going nowhere fast

Mar 13 2013

By Gabrielle Gurley, CommonWealth Magazine

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a long-time advocate for increased transportation investments, said the state could make do with $800 million annually, 20 percent less than what Patrick asked for. He gave the gas tax a thumbs-up, warning that an income tax increase would go into general revenues and would not necessarily flow to transportation, while skimming over the fact that under Patrick’s plan sales tax revenues would go exclusively to transportation as well as education.
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Witnesses at hearing 'whittle' transportation plan to $800 million

Mar 13 2013

By Andy Metzger and Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Holbrook Sun

“There’s been a lot of questions, privately and publicly, about how much do we need,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Taxpayers Foundation. He said, “I think the target needs to be $800 million a year for this revenue package.”
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Straus, taxpayers group say public doesn't want income tax hike to pay for transportation

Mar 13 2013

By Steve Decosta, SouthCoast Today

In testimony Tuesday, Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, suggested the $1 billion a year sought by the governor might be too rich and that $800 million a year would be enough...Widmer presented a "modest proposal" to raise the $800 million a year solely through transportation fees and taxes, hiking the gas tax by up to 15 cents, plus boosting Registry of Motor Vehicle fees, tolls and fares.
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Coalition urges prompt passage of transportation fix

Mar 12 2013

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Marshfield Mariner

The letter is signed by groups such as Transportation for Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the Conservation Law Foundation, the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition.

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DeLeo suggests smaller tax package to rival governor's

Mar 8 2013

By Bob Salsberg, AP / North Adams Transcript

Widmer also praised DeLeo for prioritizing transportation improvements and for pledging to have the House consider a transportation finance plan apart from the rest of the state budget. "Modest" increases in the state's 21-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax and in Registry of Motor Vehicle fees were one possible way to tap new revenues, Widmer said, adding that he did not know what lawmakers would decide.
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Tattered roadmap

Mar 8 2013

The Worcester Telegram

A new report contains plenty of analysis and recommendations aimed at shaking up how Massachusetts approaches the age-old problem of getting around. It will add to the conversation about improving the state’s infrastructure, but its language, findings, and recommendations should also elicit hard questions from taxpayers.
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Transportation chief says debate over new revenues is down to 'how and when'

Mar 8 2013

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / Marshfield Mariner

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called DeLeo’s response to the governor’s budget “sensible,” “focused,” and “balanced.” “The governor put a very large tax increase on the table that clearly is too ambitious,” Widmer said, supporting “the notion of focusing on the priorities of transportation but doing it in a more measured way.”
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