Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's officially on the table

The Globe's Yvonne Abraham on gas tax and tolls: raise the tax and spare us the toll increases. She makes the limited free-rider case. Massachusetts drivers who use the toll roads should not subsidize those who don't. A gas tax hike would be fairer.

We at NS&S advocate the larger free-rider case. The total cost of road and bridge maintenance and construction should be covered by some combination of gas tax and tolls.

Abraham notes that State Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick) has proposed a six-cent increase in the gas tax. (I couldn't find a news story.) On Fox25 last night, I heard Rep. Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley) argue in favor of it. No matter. It's too small a hike, but a step in the right direction. And, it shouldn't be an alternative to a toll hike, but an alternative to a toll hike off-peak. But, may it find a thousand state reps to claim it as their own proposal.

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