SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 18, 2014

Our view: State socks drivers again

Those who already spend too much to get around won’t be thanking Gov. Deval Patrick’s Department of Transportation, whose Board of Directors voted last Wednesday to pluck $55 million more from the pockets of Bay State drivers by jacking up registry fees.

Once the staged public hearings are out of the way, drivers starting in July will pay $60 to register their cars every other year, up 20 percent from $50. The annual motor vehicle inspection fee will rise 21 percent, from $29 to $35. And road tests will cost novice drivers $35, up a whopping 75 percent from $20.

Once, fees were intended only to cover the cost of the services provided by the state agency providing them. The state has long since abandoned that principle and uses the new money to “invest” in excessive spending elsewhere. The latest fee hikes come on top of a 3 cent (13 percent) gas tax increase imposed last year along with a law that will guarantee the gas tax will continue to rise automatically every year so our cowardly legislators don’t have to vote on the issue ever again.

You can get a measure of revenge by voting for a question expected to be on the ballot this fall to repeal the gas tax escalator to make legislators accountable for future tax increases. Make ’em sweat by making them vote.

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