‘Twas the TCI Tax Before Christmas [PHIL-OSOPHY]
The timing of Governor Charlie Baker putting the bite on us taxpayers with the Transportation and Climate Initiative, or TCI, couldn't have been worse. With his signature this week, Baker signed us up to pay higher gas prices in the future in the hopes of lowering carbon emissions. A lot of folks are tight for money and to force this initiative on the people now is regressive, especially on lower-income people.
One of my peeves is when the government punishes one class to reward another. Expressly, the TCI taxes more underprivileged drivers so the Commonwealth can give support to better-off people purchasing expensive electric cars.
It's easy to have hard feelings about an initiative like this. I am very mindful of being a good environmental steward in how I conduct my life. I stand alongside anyone who is working towards cleaner air, land and resources. But this scheme figures there will be less carbon emissions because there will be fewer people driving. I guess they expect us to bicycle to work in the snow?
The TCI is bad policy and, as a money grab at the gas pumps during these worst of times, it's insanely scheduled. Most rational people want an unpolluted ecosystem. By the same token, most rational people see the TCI for what it really is: a tax separate from, and on top of the traditional tax paid on fuel.
And as a final thought, something of this scope should go before our lawmakers for proper consideration, instead of just by a governor's edict.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.