BOSTON (WWLP) - Governor Deval Patrick's $13 billion transportation plan is gaining traction on Beacon Hill, but lawmakers are searching for other ways to pay for it.
Legislators agree that Massachusetts should have a 21st-Century transportation system, but they differ from the Governor on how to raise revenue for it.
The Patrick Administration pitched the Governor's $1 billion per-year road and rail vision to the Legislature's Transportation Committee. While the Governor's plan proposes to raise revenue through a state income tax hike and other tax reforms, tax experts suggested placing emphasis on increasing registration fees, the gas tax, or other user-based fees. Those revenues will then be guaranteed to be tied to transportation and rather than the state's general fund.
"That can increase the possibility that we protect those transportation revenues, rather than an income tax where they will get siphoned off to other purposes," said Michael Widmer, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers' Association.
Governor Patrick says that he is not set on his income tax hike proposal, and is open to other ways to repair roads, bridges, and expand commuter rail lines across the Commonwealth.