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Massachusetts Automatic Gas Tax Increase Repeal Initiative

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Massachusetts Automatic Gas Tax Increase Repeal Initiative

The Massachusetts Automatic Gas Tax Increase Repeal Initiative, Question 1 was on the November 4, 2014 statewide ballot. Approved by voters, the measure repeals a 2013 law that would automatically adjust gas taxes according to inflation, allowing for automatic annual increases in the state's gas tax.[1]

The law that this initiative repeals would also have put a minimum cap on gas taxes to prevent gas tax decreases in the case of deflation. The tax increase was part of a transportation funding package that was vetoed by Governor Deval Patrick (D) because he wanted an even greater tax increase. Patrick's veto was overruled by a House vote of 123 to 33 and a Senate vote of 35 to 5.[2]

Tank the Gas Tax, an organization supporting the initiative, stated that they collected at least 18,500 signatures by June 9, 2014. They turned in the signatures on June 18, 2014 in an attempt to qualify the initiative for the ballot.[3] The measure was certified for the 2014 ballot on July 2, 2014.[4]

The question passed with 53% of voters in favor.[5]

Text of measure

Ballot summary

[6]

Full text

[6]

Background

State gas tax

In 2013, the Democrat-controlled state legislature passed House Bill 3847, which raised the state’s gas tax from 21 to 24 cents per gallon and automatically tied the tax rate to inflation for future years, meaning it would increase by the same annual percentage as the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This marked the first increase in the tax since 1991. Given that the CPI has averaged approximately one or two percent during the past several years, the tax would likely increase by half a penny or less per year.[7][8]

Voter guide summary

Support

The measure is sponsored by the group Tank the Gas Tax.[9]

Supporters

Officials

Individuals

  • Jeffrey T. Kuhner, President of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal[12]
  • Kristina Egan, Director of Transportation for Massachusetts[13]

Arguments

  • Tank the Gas Tax deemed the tax a slippery slope.[9]

Campaign contributions

Total campaign cash
as of October 30, 2014
Support: $94,318
Opposition: $1,884,722

As of October 30, 2014, one campaign organization had received an aggregate total of $94,318 in contributions.[14]

PAC info:
PAC/Ballot measure group Amount raised Amount spent
Committee to Tank the Automatic Gas Tax Hikes $94,318 $75,173
Total $94,318 $75,173

Top contributors: |- | A1 Auto || $10,000 |- | Liberty Initiative Fund || $5,000 |- | Strong Economy for Growth || $5,000 |- | Strong Economy Massachusetts Independent Expenditures PAC || $5,000 |- | Massachusetts Ambulance Association || $2,500 |- |}

Opposition

The official opposition campaign is called Vote No on Question One, in conjunction with the Committee for Safer Roads and Bridges.[15]

Opponents

  • Governor Deval Patrick (D)[16]
  • Medford Mayor Michael J. McGlynn[17]
  • Committee for Safer Roads and Bridges[18]
  • Bill Vernon, Director and National Federation of Independent Business Massachusetts[13]

Arguments

Campaign contributions

As of October 30, 2014, one campaign organization had received an aggregate total of $1,884,722 in contributions.[14]

PAC info:
PAC/Ballot measure group Amount raised Amount spent
NO on One Committee $1,884,722 $438,200
Total $1,884,722 $438,200

Top contributors: |- | CIM Advancement Fund|| $200,000 |- | American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts|| $145,000 |- | Mass Aggregate & Asphalt Pavement Association|| $100,000 |- | Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. || $100,000 |- | Utility Contractors Association of New England Inc. || $100,000 |- | Flagship Associates LLC || $90,000 |- |}

Media editorial positions

Support

  • The News Telegram recommended a "yes" vote.[19]

[20]

Polls

External links

Basic information

  • Text of the Automatic Gas Tax Increase Repeal Initiative
  • Online poll: Do you think the gas tax should be repealed
  • Secretary of State guide to state ballot measures
  • Massachusetts 2014 Voter Guide

Support

  • websiteTank the Gas Tax
  • Facebook pageTank the Automatic Gas Tax
  • Conservative Focus website

Opposition

  • Vote No on Question One
  • , "Gov. Patrick lashes out at push to repeal gas tax law," December 2, 2013Boston Herald
  • , "Patrick: Don’t repeal automatic gas tax hikes," December 2, 2013PatriotLedger.com

Additional reading

  • , "Massachusetts ballot question to target gas tax increases," August 6, 2013WCVB.com

References

  1. ^ , "Referendums could deep-six casinos, gas tax," November 29, 2013News Telegram
  2. ^ , "Massachusetts lawmakers override Gov. Deval Patrick's veto of bill to raise taxes by $500 million," July 24, 2013Masslive.com
  3. ^ , "Signature Collection," June 9, 2014Tank the Gas Tax
  4. ^ , "4 Ballot Questions Before Mass. Voters," July 3, 2014New England Public Radio
  5. ^ "Election Results – Nov. 4, 2014" WBZ. November 6, 2014
  6. ^ a b , "Question 1: Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing," accessed September 17, 2014Massachusetts Secretary of State
  7. ^ , "Automatic gas tax emerging as key campaign issue in Massachusetts," May 26, 2014Fox News
  8. ^ , "Massachusetts Ballot Referendum Challenges Gas Tax Indexing," July 22, 2014Tax Foundation
  9. ^ a b website, accessed March 14, 2014Tank the Gas Tax
  10. ^ , "Repeal of casino law, capping eternal gas tax, among ballot questions," December 9, 2013Worcester Telegram & Gazette
  11. ^ , "Gas tax indexing question on 2014 ballot," November 22, 2013Cape Cod Today
  12. ^ , "Boston’s second Tea Party," December 5, 2013Washington Post
  13. ^ a b , "Massachusetts advocacy networks weigh in on four upcoming ballot questions," October 30, 2014The Daily Free Press
  14. ^ a b , "Question 1: Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing," accessed October 30, 2014OCPF
  15. ^ , "FAQs," accessed September 30, 2014Vote No on Question One
  16. ^ , "Gov. Patrick lashes out at push to repeal gas tax law," December 2, 2013Boston Herald
  17. ^ , "Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn supports No vote on Question 1," October 22, 2014Medford Transcript
  18. ^ , "Massachusetts Information for Voters: 2014 Ballot Questions," accessed September 30, 2014Massachusetts Secretary of State
  19. ^ , "Yes on Question 1," October 6, 2014News Telegram
  20. ^ , "No on Question 1: Keep gas tax tied to inflation," October 22, 2014Boston Globe
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