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State DOT Proposes Massive Fee Increases For Massachusetts Drivers

The board of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation released its 21st Century Transportation Plan, which outlines the state’s budgetary needs over the course of the next 10 years and beyond.

With infrastructure in need of repairs and the major city transit system steeped in billions of dollars of debt, the state may need to increase revenue from car registrations, license renewals, taxes and tolls.

The Board of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation released its 21st Century Transportation Plan Monday, which calls for a $13 billion overall investment in state transportations systems over the next decade.

The breakdown is as follows, according to a statement associated with the plan released by Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey:

  • The state needs $684 million to operate the same systems in place today.
  • Additionally, the state needs to invest $5.2 billion over the next 10 years for repairs to roadways, highways and structurally deficient bridges.
  • The state needs $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to invest in existing transit services.
  • The state needs an additional $275 million over the next 10 years to invest in Registry and airport maintenance.
  • Overall, the plan calls for an additional $1.02 billion average investment per year.

To raise the necessary funds these recommendations will include an increase in the gas tax, payroll tax, sales tax or income tax; a new green fee on vehicle registrations; a vehicle miles traveled tax; regular and modest fare, fee and toll increases; and new tolling mechanisms, according to the statement.

“Without new revenues, the MassDOT Board of Directors will need to cut service at the MBTA and RTAs and significantly increase fares in order to approve a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins July 1,” according to the statement.

According to a report boston.cbslocal.com, the revenue streams proposed by the DOT include the following:

  • The fee for vehicle registration would increase from $50 to $103.
  • The fee for vehicle inspections would increase from $29 to $48.
  • The fee for a Class D driver's license would increase from $50 to $136.
  • An increase for Mass Pike tolls and MBTA fares of 5 percent.

Gov. Deval Patrick, who attended a presentation of the plan Monday at the University of Massachusetts Boston, said the state is faced with difficult but necessary choices.

“What’s plain as day is that we have to make choices. We can choose to invest in ourselves, to invest in a growth strategy that has been proven time and again to work. Or we can choose to do nothing. But let us be clear: doing nothing is a choice, too,” he said. “And that choice has consequences. It means longer commutes, cuts in services, larger fare and fee increases, and a continuation of the self-defeating economics of cutting off large parts of our population from opportunity and growth.”

He concluded by saying: “I choose growth. I choose shaping our own future over letting the future happen to us.  I hope we all are ready that make that choice, and I look forward to working together with you to do so.”

Scooter January 17, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Don't forget that the state income tax needs to go up (to 6.25%) too because gosh knows we aren't paying enough taxes already! www.cltg.org
Tom DeVeau January 17, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Could you even imagine if the American public did the same thing the government does? "Dear Govt, I have mismanaged my funds to the point that I can no longer afford my home and bills. I am going to give you less money so that I can afford those things. Thank you, The American People"
malcolm nichols January 17, 2013 at 02:49 PM
I believe the original commitment was for State Income Tax to drop back to the 5%, for the tolls on the Mass Pike to be eliminated. Our government just lies over and over. What happened to the Stimulus $ we got a few years back, We did not even have any "shovel ready" projects. Perhaps Duval is looking for material for his next book. They may me sick. I do look at our crumbling infrastructure and have major concerns, but no matter how much they get they will just take it, never fixing the problems.
Dan January 17, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Thought the current gas tax was for roads, excise tax, etc. Just got my grand-daughter a 2001 car today, 6K...almost 500 for sales tax, then plates, new title, new registration....I know Still not getting enough!!!!Don't worry Liz Warren will be fighting for us soon!!
Rich January 18, 2013 at 02:10 AM
http://massachusetts-election-2010.com/massachusetts-2010-gubernatorial-results-town-by-town/ voting by town. amherst and springfield voted for the "devil" Tewksbury voted GOP. is this "Hope" or is it "Change"???? I forget all i know is this is not the change i hoped for. Remember, the commonwealth voted him back in. When this state realizes the pain maybe things will change..... i hope!

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