Poll results divided on best way to raise transportation revenue in Massachusetts

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Some Massachusetts voters support new transportation investments in the state, but a recent poll showed they’re divided on how best to raise revenue.

Results from the MassINC Polling Group found that the majority of pollers support collecting money from real estate development projects that are near major highways or public transit.

However, voters are split on ideas such as a phased-in gas tax hike or even a single 15 cent increase. Governor Charlie Baker opposed any gas hike.

Other ideas that lawmakers suggested were a system where existing lanes on highways would be changed to tolled lanes allowing some drivers to pay for a faster trip. Governor Baker said it would not be possible to convert current free lanes into tolled ones.

Voters were also split on creating tolls at state borders and increasing trip fees on ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Massachusetts House leaders said every penny increase to the gas tax would lead to 35 million dollars in revenue. Just under 50 percent of voters in the poll supported raising the gas tax five cents, three times over six years.

Democratic House leaders were previously going to debate the issue this fall, but House leaders agreed this past week to delay their debate on the issue until early 2020.

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