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How Should the State Pay for Transportation Fixes?

The state's transportation infrastructure needs $13 billion over the next 10 years. How would you raise the case needed to repair and expand highways, bridges and public transit?

Governor Deval Patrick and the Department of Transportation unveiled their new plan for the state's transportation infrastructure on Monday. The plan, which calls for reinvestment, repair and expansion of the commonwealth's highways, bridges and public transportation, comes with a hefty $13 billion price tag

Raising the amount of money needed would require a significant revenue increase. Income, payroll and gas taxes, increased tolls and registration fees, green vehicle surcharges and other proposals are all on the table. Patrick is expected to detail his revenue proposal during Wednesday night's state of the state address.

Now it's your turn: How would you fund the state's transportation plan? Or is the plan too ambitious (read: expensive)? Can Massachusetts repair what it has and expand for the future, or should it tighten its belt and live with the T and roads we have? Tell us in the comments below.

JMc January 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Well, all the options still hurt. But it's the standard problem of us wanting everything and not wanting to pay for it. Even forgetting repair and expansion, right now DOT is running a 230 mil deficit every year just to make payroll. How crazy is that. But venting aside, where does the state money go? Is there really fat in the budget? Are there programs that can be slimmed down to help pay for this? How much waste is there in DoT and elsewhere that can help ease the blow.
Gary Chase January 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Raise the gas tax and add tolls to major routes like the SE Expressway.
Fran January 16, 2013 at 01:29 PM
I worked (very hartd at a real job) for twenty-five years for the state. The amount of waste in terms of time, resources and people in ONE office in ONE agency was incredible. I once papered the walls of my office will postage of mail sent to me from the Central office of my agency ONE FLOOR ABOVE. I spoke to them ,many times about JUST A BOX BY THE DOOR for mail going up and down, but too much trouble. The sort of job I had reuired lots of certified, registered, and heavy packages. I could had fired every third person in the office and we wouldn't have missed them. We don't need a NICKEL more in taxes until someone seriously eliminates the waste in state government. It will never happen, of course, and people working hard and already on the edge---white collar as well as blue collar-- will suffer even more. And not one politician gives a damn.
Molina January 16, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Congestion pricing with equity in mind http://www.transalt.org/campaigns/congestion
Joseph January 16, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Fran - Preach Woman...Preach!!! I wish more of you would speak up. Why do I bother working 10-12hrs a day if the Feds and State are going to constantly take more and more from me? What's the incentive to work hard if all my disposable income is going to someone else? Gov Patrick does realize that as he continues to raise taxes on wage earners, donations to various organizations goes down, right?
j k01 January 16, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Install high speed overhead tolls on 93 north and south of Boston, plus replace booths on the Pike with these. That will get us but also c ity and state representatives as they go to work and speed off to their weekend vacation homes on the Cape and elsewhere. Forbid rebates on these tolls for anyone making $40k/yr with less than four dependents.
j k01 January 16, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Who says that we need these new rail lines to places that few people will ride on?
JMc January 16, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Why does road work not get the same scrutiny that people love giving rail work?
Dan Evers January 16, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Really millions for bike trails. millions to go to fall river, millions to go to springfield. I live in medford ( from c-town) and we already have the orange line and dozens of bus routs. we do not need to spend millions for the green line.
JMc January 16, 2013 at 03:51 PM
ahhh, so an "I have what I want, so let me deny you what you want" approach...
Charlie Denison January 16, 2013 at 04:21 PM
I agree with Gary, high-speed tolls are the way to go. All of our highways should have them. Making them variable based on congestion levels would also help to reduce congestion at peak travel times. Tolls on I-93 would also collect revenue to help pay off the Big Dig debt from those who are benefiting most from it.
Dan February 01, 2013 at 09:57 PM
We should look at how other cities handle transportation tolling. London has a good model maybe we should try their approach. Clearly, the Gas tax is not enough to handle proper maintenance of our current transit systems as well as is being used to expand them.

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