WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WGGB) — They’re calling it “Taxachusetts”.
On July 29th, the state legislature approved Governor Patrick’s transportation bill, which upped the gas tax 3 cents per gallon.
By July 30, activists had formed the group “Tank the Automatic Gas Hikes” so they can bring the issue directly to voters in 2014.
“Obviously, we had a number of serious issues with it, and we thought it was wise to act. We work with some of our allies in the state legislature to form this group,” said Richard Howell, group member and coordinator of the Mass. Tea Party Patriots.
They’re fresh off of a trip to the state house, arguing that the increase is burdening everyday Baystaters.
“We had a gas tax that was 8 cents lower than the national average. Now, it’s 16 cents higher and indexed to inflation,” Howell added.
In other words, the tax hikes are linked to the cost of living. As it goes up, so does the gas tax without having to ever vote on it again.
Representative Nick Boldyga actually voted against it, saying that if, in fact, the question does make it onto the 2014 ballot, the legislature could do one of 2 things: either take out the extra taxes, or repeal part of the law that ties it to inflation.
“Our chore now is to get the 68,000 odd signatures to get this on the ballot. We’ve done this before, with 3 weeks and 100,000 signatures,” stated Howell.
Since launching their Facebook page, the group has already snagged more than 800 likes.
All of the proposals need approval from the Attorney General and nearly 69,000 signatures by late November to be considered by lawmakers in January.