On February 1, 2020 I challenged my State Senate opponent publicly to take a stand on the Transportation and Climate Initiative. I was surprised he responded, but grateful he did it in the press, as this approach allows a larger portion of the population to see both of our positions. He agreed with my stance; the TCI is another gas tax that hurts western Massachusetts taxpayers. Originally 12 states and Washington D.C. were part of the TCI, however, New Hampshire and Connecticut have voiced opposition to the initiative calling it a gas tax of sorts.
Western Massachusetts, especially the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District, is comprised of mostly rural and suburban areas with no major urban development. For the people of this district there is no option to reduce gasoline consumption other than foregoing responsibilities that require leaving home. In addition to the added cost of gasoline and diesel fuel at the pump we would see an increase in costs across the board. Operation of school buses, delivery of nearly every item purchased online, snow removal, landscaping, home improvement and public services would all be impacted by an increase in fuel costs. Hardworking families and small businesses would be forced to support the transportation infrastructure of larger urban areas, most notably Boston.
As a small business owner, father, and lifelong resident of a suburban community I know how the cost of fuel can have widespread impacts on the local economy. We do not have the option to take the MBTA to work or the doctor nor walk to the corner market or school. Raising the cost of our fuel will not reduce the distances we must travel in our everyday lives, nor will it provide much needed infrastructure improvements. Electric vehicles are not practical for many residents in our communities due to cost, availability, and effective range.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Rather than using the working people of western MA to support urban transportation the legislation needs to reduce spending across the board. As our State Senator I will make sure the voice of western MA is heard in Boston. To reduce carbon emissions from motor vehicles there should be an incentive, not a tax.
Should I get elected, I will most definitely vote against the TCI.
Candidate for State Senate