A Taxpayer Revolt Is Long Overdue [OPINION]
This latest attempt by the Massachusetts Legislature to impose new taxes on working stiffs in the Commonwealth is beyond the pale.
These bandits are attempting to increase the gas tax by a nickel a gallon while hiking the diesel tax by nine cents and sharply raising fees on Uber and Lyft. They say the $600 million in new revenue is needed to address transportation and infrastructure needs. But what they don't tell you is that while you will pay more, they will largely be exempt from the increases since you pony up for their transportation costs.
The Boston Herald's Hillary Chabot reminds us that state lawmakers each receive an "unregulated expense account of up to $21,664 per legislator." Chabot says legislators enjoy an annual stipend of "$16,248 to pay for their commute if they live within 50 miles of the State House and $21,664 if they live farther away."
Former acting Senate President Harriet Chandler (D-Worcester) defended the stipend and told the Boston Herald, “I go back and forth every single day and I drive around my district for my job.” We pay Chandler $160,000 a year but she grouses that she could actually make more if she worked in the private sector. Have at it, Harriet.
This gas tax increase, coming so soon after the voters rejected the last attempt to raise and index the gas tax, is a blatant slap in the face to the hardworking taxpayers of Massachusetts. One-party domination has created an air of arrogance on Beacon Hill and it's time voters rise up and revolt at the ballot box.
Just remember, the entire regional legislative delegation is behind this abomination and should be sent packing next year.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.