The Massachusets Legislature is on recess until after the holidays, and while some may shake their heads in disgust at yet another lengthy paid vacation think of it this way, at least their hands are out of your pockets for a couple of months. The respite won't last for long, however, as lawmakers will be back in January to suck more of your hard-earned money out of your wallet.

Among the first orders of business when our reps and senators climb back up Beacon Hill are tax increases. There is a discussion about raising new revenue for education, transportation, and even to save the world from climate change. Among the most hideous tax increases, these hacks will consider is a 15-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax. Whether they will increase the gas tax all at once or in increments is anyone's guess.

Refresh my memory – didn't we just repeal a gas tax increase a couple of years ago? Apparently, these folks either didn't get the message or are so bold that what we say doesn't matter to them. I guess we'll just have to remind them who they work for.

Now is the time to send a loud and strong message to your elected officials that you do not want the gas tax increased, and you are opposed to all of the other tax increases that will be proposed in January, including a higher tax on real estate transactions.

Massachusetts has finished each of the last two fiscal years with a billion-dollar surplus. We are so fat they cannot even decide how to spend the extra cash. We are already one of the most taxed states in the nation and they want more. Why not start by reducing the $2 billion we spend annually on benefits for illegal aliens? Maybe we can reduce the millions these folks get in stipends for their travel expenses.

If you oppose an increase in the gas tax you must call, email, message, write and or approach your elected state reps and senators now and tell them VOTE NO on the gas tax – and then hold them accountable next November if they ignore you.

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 barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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