BOSTON — Massachusetts retailers support an increase in the gas tax tied to a multi-state effort to cut carbon emissions, but would not back a further hike in the fuel levy beyond that.
As interest groups and politicians ready themselves for a House debate on proposed transportation taxes and revenues, Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst said Wednesday that his group supports Gov. Charlie Baker’s efforts to enlist Massachusetts in a new market-based program to reduce transportation emissions as long as the increase in the price of gas as a result the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) is limited to between 5 and 15 cents a gallon.
“We oppose additional gas taxes on top of TCI, because they are avoidable by going over the border for car and trucker drivers alike,” according to Hurst. “Tax avoidance and the regressive nature of excessive increases are real concerns.”
The retailers also support a $1 increase in ride-sharing fees as long as the fees are transparent, “some steps on tolling,” including a look at state border tolls, and investments in lower cost “gateway cities” with less traffic congestion.
Motorists pay 24 cents per gallon in state gas taxes, fractions of a penny below the national average, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
For each gallon of gas, drivers also pay a fee of roughly 2.5 cents to support the Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Product Cleanup Fund.
When all state and federal assessments are calculated in, about 45 cents of every gallon of gas pumped in Massachusetts goes to taxes or fees.