Statewide Ballot Question #1 - the Gas Tax

Massachusetts Law Updates 2014-11-23

November 4th is right around the corner. Many voters are undecided on how they will vote on the four Statewide Ballot Questions, especially Question #1 which asks consumers to vote to eliminate automatic increases to the gas tax based on inflation or keep the law as it is.  A YES VOTE would eliminate the requirement that the state’s gas tax be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. A NO VOTE would make no change in the laws regarding the gas tax.  As of September 2013, the gas tax in Massachusetts is 24 cents per gallon but this will increase with inflation in January 2015. Whether you are for or against changing the current law, are you curious about just how much revenue is collected each year at the pump and where it is spent? According to MGL ch.64A sec. 13, the gas tax revenues are credited to a "Commonwealth Transportation Fund." To see the balance sheet of this fund click http://www.mass.gov/bb/h1/fy13h1/bal_13/hfundbal4.htm. This fund is used to pay debt service associated with highway maintenance and construction projects and provides funding for the operation of the independent Massachusetts Department of Transportation. To see a detailed breakdown of the revenue sources for the Commonwealth Transportation Fund as well as overall revenues and expenditures of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation link to the Mass DOT Revenue and Expense Report. This report is required by statute (MGL Ch. 6C sec.28) to be filed and placed on the DOT website every year.