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Western Mass. Legislators Defend Override Vote of Transportation Bill

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(WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)– Western Massachusetts legislators are defending their override of Governor Patrick’s veto of the transportation financing bill.

The transportation bill calls for 500-million dollars in new taxes to improve the state’s transportation system.

Governor Patrick had originally proposed a two-billion dollar increase which he couldn’t sell to legislators.

The transportation bill approved by the legislature includes a 3-cent a gallon increase on the state’s gasoline tax, a dollar a pack tax increase on cigarettes, as well as applying the state’s 6.25% sales tax to computer and software services.

“I know the governor was looking for more of an investment, a little bit more of a tax increase but I think between the members of the House and Senate, I think the number we finally ended at which I think is a very healthy investment in transportation was the number we could get the votes to do,” says State Senator James Welch (D) West Springfield.

State Rep. Michael Finn also voted for the override,” I am comfortable with that vote, the override, I was never comfortable with raising as much revenue as the governor wanted,” says Finn.

The new taxes take effect by the end of July.


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