Post Office Box 1147    Marblehead, Massachusetts 01945    (781) 639-9709
“Every Tax is a Pay Cut ... A Tax Cut is a Pay Raise”

46 years as “The Voice of Massachusetts Taxpayers”
and their Institutional Memory

CLT News Release
October 21, 2020

Open Letter on the Transportation and Climate Initiative

Yesterday the coalition of citizens groups from the twelve states that would be affected by the multi-state compact, the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), released an open letter on our mutual opposition position.  This was done in anticipation of TCI’s Final Memorandum of Understanding due to be released any day now. 

Citizens for Limited Taxation is a member of the opposition to this backdoor and unaccountable tax hike on gas and diesel fuels. 

Our open letter in part states: 

Make no mistake, this is a tax. More precisely, it is a carbon dioxide emissions tax being implemented through a gas tax. But unlike motor fuel taxes levied to pay for roads, bridges, and transportation infrastructure (a reasonable fee for use), the TCI would be the equivalent of a “sin tax” – a penalty for engaging in what some consider bad behavior. We do not believe that driving to and from work, transporting children to school, transporting goods, going to the grocery store, and all the other necessary activities that generally require a vehicle should be treated by governments as a sin; especially in these uncertain times. Fewer people than ever are commuting to work and travel is based on necessity more than leisure. 

In addition, the TCI will also increase state and municipal spending, as public services such as snow plowing, collecting trash, and transporting school children will be burdened with significantly higher fuel costs. Across the country, state and local governments are suffering budget deficits and lawmakers are already faced with making tough budget cuts or looking at ways to increase funding through new and increased taxes. An added burden of the magnitude of TCI is unwise and lacks fiscal prudence. . . . 

Citizens in TCI states can expect to be hit with higher personal costs, higher costs for goods and services, and higher taxes. By their nature, gas taxes are among the most regressive of taxes a state is capable of levying. . . .  Economically speaking, this is bad policy. Morally speaking, it is simply cruel. 

Granting Gov. Baker – the leading advocate for TCI – unilateral authority to join this multi-state TCI compact is now in the Climate Change conference committee.  Some legislators are pushing to have some say over whether or not Massachusetts should enter this multi-state compact.

CLT and its members strongly believe TCI is unwise and unnecessary, yet another burden on citizens of the commonwealth especially in a time of stress, hardship, and economic uncertainty.

“If, nonetheless, Beacon Hill is intent on imposing this further burden on its constituents, at the very least it should happen only with consent of the people through their elected representatives,” said Chip Ford, executive director if Citizens for Limited Taxation, “Not unilaterally by one man, akin to a royal monarchy.

You can find/download a copy of our coalition’s letter here.

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Citizens for Limited Taxation    PO Box 1147    Marblehead, MA 01945    (781) 639-9709