In The News: Transportation

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Tax hikes, agency reform needed to save state transportation

Jan 13 2008

Tax hikes, agency reform needed to save state transportation

By John Hilliard, The Patriot Ledger

That figure doesn't include future improvements or the $15 billion cost of the Big Dig, said Michael Widmer, a member of the finance panel and president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

"We are in a particularly difficult position because we built a $15 billion project," he said, noting that about one-third of the state's federal highway aid helps pay off the Big Dig's debt.

He said virtually all the state's transportation agencies have structural deficits and employ "short-term quick fixes," but there is little money for road improvements without sacrificing the existing infrastructure.

 

Toll Weary: With latest increase set for January, many question fairness of Pike users paying so much to support state roads

Oct 7 2007

By Ralph Ranalli, The Boston Globe

"'I think there is a wide recognition that something has to happen,' said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president Michael Widmer, who was a member of a state transportation funding panel that recently recommended an increase in the gas tax. 'We can't walk away from this any longer.'"
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Interview with Michael J. Widmer

Jul 1 2007

MASSPIRG

"Public transportation is a lifeline for the Massachusetts economy. That is why the Foundation, and I personally, have devoted so much attention to this issue over the past decade."
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Lawmaker: Pay for new commuter rail by charging car owners a "green" fee

Feb 22 2007

By Brian Boyd, SouthCoastToday.com

"Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the original version's reliance on existing revenue was a shortcoming.

"While the foundation has not taken a position on the new proposal, Mr. Widmer said Rep. Cabral's idea deserves serious consideration.

"'Clearly, the state transit system needs new revenue, and Rep. Cabral's proposal is a constructive step in moving that discussion forward,' Mr. Widmer said."

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Mass. Turnpike tolls will not come down: 'A sad day for MetroWest'

Feb 7 2007

By Emelie Rutherford, Metrowest Daily News

"Commission member Michael Widmer called news of the death of the toll-removal plan 'positive.'

"'It was a foolhardy proposal from the outset because you're transferring the obligation to the taxpayer without any additional revenue,' said Widmer, also the president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation."

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Question 1 would split gas tax and inflation

Oct 19 2001

By Amy Anthony, Cape Cod Today

But most taxes, while not indexed to inflation, are adjusted according to the CPI, said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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How will state fund $1B-a-year transit bill?

By Chris Camire, The Lowell Sun

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said he would like to see an increase in the gas tax included in any revenue package. "It goes directly into transportation, but most importantly, we haven't raised the gas tax since 1991, so we're paying 21 cents, but we're only getting 12 cents worth of value," Widmer said. "That's not any way to maintain our transportation system. So I think it's fair to ask people in the state to at least keep pace with inflation."
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