BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts legislature is feeling the pressure once again to temporarily suspend the state’s gas tax. 22News spoke to supporters of this proposal Wednesday and they believe lawmaker’s aren’t doing all they can to give back to residents across the state.
About two weeks ago the state senate failed to pass a bill that would have suspended the state’s 24 cent gas tax, and now all eyes are on House lawmakers – because they could bring the proposal back to life.
Republican lawmakers have been putting pressure on their Democratic colleagues to provide residents with some much needed relief at the pump.
Gas prices in Massachusetts have topped 4 dollars a gallon for several weeks now, and a temporary suspension of the gas tax would take off 24 cents per gallon. Members of the Massachusetts fiscal alliance told 22News that this proposal isn’t being taken seriously, despite the fact that most motorists could benefit from the bill’s passage.
“Massachusetts tax payers are more than generous right now, we’re breaking records for the amount of money coming in to our statehouse politicians, so what are they doing with it?” remarked Paul Craney from Mass Fiscal Alliance.
Connecticut temporarily suspended their gas tax last month and New Hampshire is in the process of doing the same. Supporters of the plan worry that residents will take their business over the border, which in turn will have a negative effect on the state’s economy.
Legislative leaders are calling this proposal a ‘gimmick’ and they point out the fact that a temporary suspension could actually hurt Massachusetts in the long run.
Governor Baker has expressed interest in the suspension, but a bill to do so has yet to hit his desk.
The State’s website provides a list of weekly average data on prices of gasoline and diesel across the state. According to the chart, regular gas is currently on average $4.21 a gallon, up 53% compared to last year at this time.