Dartmouth and New Bedford Support Higher Gas Tax [OPINION]
It is tough to vote for a tax increase in an election year unless it is what your constituents told you to do. It is a rare occasion when the taxpayers ask for higher taxes, but it does happen. It usually occurs when the taxpayers see a legitimate reason for the increase and they know the bills have to be paid for the services they are demanding.
Such is the case for Rep. Markey and the recent nickel on the gallon of gasoline tax increase voted by the Massachusetts State House of Representatives. Almost every Democrat voted for the increase and every Republican voted against it.
Back in 2014, there was a ballot question to repeal a larger tax on gasoline that had passed on Beacon Hill. The voters of Massachusetts repealed that tax increase with the statewide ballot question. However, it is worth looking at the individual results of that question in each legislative district to see how responsive legislators are to the demands of the citizens they are elected to represent.
Rep. Chris Markey's district is all of the town of Dartmouth and a few precincts in the city of New Bedford. The town of Dartmouth voted in 2014 against repealing a larger gas tax increase. Every precinct in the New Bedford section of Rep. Markey's district also voted in favor of increasing the tax on gasoline. The 2014 gas tax repeal ballot question is the most accurate information available to the members of the legislature on this subject.
Nobody likes higher taxes, but everyone appreciates a representative who truly does the job of representing the wants and desires of the folks that elected them. Markey voted for a tax increase after his constituents told him they wanted the tax increase.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.