Activists are targeting a portion of the state's new gas tax law that automatically links future tax hikes to increases in the rate of inflation.

Backers of a proposed ballot question say tying tax hikes to the cost of living creates what they call a "forever tax" that automatically rises without lawmakers having to take future votes.

Supporters say they are confident they can gather the tens of thousands of voter signatures needed to get the initiative on the 2014 ballot.

Under the law pushed by Democratic leaders in the Massachusetts House and Senate and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick, the gasoline tax jumped 3 cents last week, from 21 cents per gallon to 24 cents, as part of a transportation financing package.

The ballot question would leave the 3 cent hike in place.

[Associated Press]

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