Bend ovah Mass residents

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    Re: Bend ovah Mass residents

    Mass like most states continues to kick the infrastructure can down the road because of constituents with ill informed we already paid for statements.

    We spend markedly less on infrastructure then we did a generation ago.  The interstate system is 57 years old; most of the systems bridges were constructed in the 60's and 70's and funded by the highway trust fund through the gas tax (a user fee for roads) and with a 10% match from the states revenues, once again usually through gas taxes.  Well gas tax revenues haven't kept up with the need as the tax hasn't been increased since the early 90's.  Costs and salaries have increased 200 to 300% since then but the gas tax just sits there.  Highway design standards have changed, bridges are nearing the end of their economic life improvements are needed but no one wants to pay.  Well the more you put off the more it will cost you later.

    If you own a home you maintain it don't you?  You clean the gutters before water backs up into eaves. You repair the roof from damage and replace it when it hits the end of its economic life around 25-35 yr.  You paint it before the systems fails or rot will set in.  Sometimes you expand your home due to a growing family need and upgrade the electrical system, replace the furnace or add air-conditioning.

    There are no free rides; so we need to figure out the fairest way to for infrastructure which in my mind is by the user. So yes we should increase the gas tax and index it to inflation.  We should look at tolls for complex transportation systems, such as the interstate within the 128 belt because it is much more costly per mile to build and maintain then it is for a section of I-90 in western Mass. 

    Governor Patrick's Transportation Way Forward plan addresses many desires and needs and will eventually pit different constituency groups against each other; transit vs. roads and, urban vs. suburban vs. rural.  Plans for expansion and improvements must be made on objective cost benefit formulas to ensure we are making wise decisions on limited resources.  Plans to change how the state pays for its own operation must change such as funding its operations on bond is just outrageously inefficient and the state needs to look at its preventative maintenance operations with an eye at maintenance is how you save money long term.  

     
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  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from massmoderateJoe. Show massmoderateJoe's posts

    Re: Bend ovah Mass residents

    In response to NO MO O's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Where is the equity in having people who don't use services or infrastructure pay for it ?

     

    Does anyone believe even with the many tax increases that the projects would not be mismanaged.. again and again. We don't get ANY confidence from history.

    Sounds like more relatives will get hired.

    [/QUOTE]

    On your equity point on infrastrucuture it includes more than transportation.  Infrastructure does tie nicely to user fees.

    Use water pay the water authority unless you have a well

    Use the toilet pay the sewer authority unless you have a private sptic system

    Use other utilities pay for them; power, tel, cable.......have solar panels good for you

    Once you get beyond your residence, you have to look at the transportation network.

    Transportation is how we as a society move our goods, service and people.  The transportation needs/solutions are different based on where you live; urban, suburban, exurban or rural areas but government does have a role in all of them.  The benefits of a strong economy and the rewards it offers the workers, managers and owners depends on a capable, strong and resilient transportation network.  The issue always gets down to complaints about the fact that not everyone uses each aspect of the transportation network.  Some never ride the T, while others never drive to Boston, while others never drive within the 128 or 495 belt or east or west of Worcester, or travel to the cape and Islands.

    Unless you are completely off the grid you gain some level of benefit from all of the area specific transpotation solutions whether you directly use them or not.  If you're that far off the grid then you don't need to worry because you're not paying for it or using it.  But if you're like most, you gain benefit from the collective economic health of the region in which you live that is driven by its transportion system.

    Public transportation policy needs to constantly review the cost/benefit aspects of transportation solutions.  The balance between the different modes of transportation and their service areas need to be continually reviewed to maintain a cost/benefit that works for all.  If government fails to adequately support transit through services or fares; the public will choose alterate solutions that would potentially completely clog our roads.  If government fails to suport roads; then the movement of goods, services and people degrades impacting commerce and peoples lives outside of the cost effective transit areas.

    Everyone benefits from government's (use of other people's money through taxes and user fees) investing in transportation infrastructure.  The challenge is finding the appropriate split between taxes and use fee and the allocation of the user fees to specific expenditures.

    A tiered plan of general tax review supporting transportation to an equitable base level seems to be the best starting place.  Then tiers tied to user gas tax is very equitable for roads, transit fares for transit, tolls (a surcharge) for complex more expensive highway systems (like within 128).  Some skin in the transportation game through other registration and excise taxes distributed proportionally to where they are generated.  A vehicle miles tax (VMT) should also be distributed to where it is genearted as more miles are driven by residents outside of the metropolitan area so these dollars should be spent outside of the metrpolitan area.

    The biggest inequity we have is the I-90 Tolls going to the Big Dig (I-90 was only half the project) when the I-93 travellers get the benefit for free.  Tolling I-93 north and south of Boston should be on the table with those dollars allocated to Big Dig maintenance, not just as a revenue enhancer. These tolls would be equivalent the Sumner/Callahan, Tobin, Ted, or Allston oneway tolls.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: Bend ovah Mass residents

    In response to massmoderateJoe's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Mass like most states continues to kick the infrastructure can down the road because of constituents with ill informed we already paid for statements.

    We spend markedly less on infrastructure then we did a generation ago.  The interstate system is 57 years old; most of the systems bridges were constructed in the 60's and 70's and funded by the highway trust fund through the gas tax (a user fee for roads) and with a 10% match from the states revenues, once again usually through gas taxes.  Well gas tax revenues haven't kept up with the need as the tax hasn't been increased since the early 90's.  Costs and salaries have increased 200 to 300% since then but the gas tax just sits there.  Highway design standards have changed, bridges are nearing the end of their economic life improvements are needed but no one wants to pay.  Well the more you put off the more it will cost you later.

    If you own a home you maintain it don't you?  You clean the gutters before water backs up into eaves. You repair the roof from damage and replace it when it hits the end of its economic life around 25-35 yr.  You paint it before the systems fails or rot will set in.  Sometimes you expand your home due to a growing family need and upgrade the electrical system, replace the furnace or add air-conditioning.

    There are no free rides; so we need to figure out the fairest way to for infrastructure which in my mind is by the user. So yes we should increase the gas tax and index it to inflation.  We should look at tolls for complex transportation systems, such as the interstate within the 128 belt because it is much more costly per mile to build and maintain then it is for a section of I-90 in western Mass. 

    Governor Patrick's Transportation Way Forward plan addresses many desires and needs and will eventually pit different constituency groups against each other; transit vs. roads and, urban vs. suburban vs. rural.  Plans for expansion and improvements must be made on objective cost benefit formulas to ensure we are making wise decisions on limited resources.  Plans to change how the state pays for its own operation must change such as funding its operations on bond is just outrageously inefficient and the state needs to look at its preventative maintenance operations with an eye at maintenance is how you save money long term.  

    [/QUOTE]


    Hey, aren't these the roads the rest of us paid for?  That's Lizzie Warrens (and Obama's) stance.  So, I guess we didn't pay for them?  These liberals are confusing me.

    Here's the problem with more taxes to fix the roads:  Not all the money beinig raised to fix roads is going to fixing roads.  It goes to the MBTA, building bike paths, part of it probably goes to gender awareness trainign for all I know.

    When ALL the money raised to build and repair our roads goes to our roads, then let's revisit.  until then, it is just wrapping the "bridges and roads" falling down around another tax increase.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from massmoderateJoe. Show massmoderateJoe's posts

    Re: Bend ovah Mass residents

    Here's the VA Solution........

     

    McDonnell proposes .8% increase in sales tax in the hopes of generating $3.1 billion over five years

         

    With legislators and transportation leaders by his side, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Jan. 8 a plan that would provide more than $3.1 billion in transportation funding for the Commonwealth over the next five years, tying transportation funding to economic growth and replacing the state's outdated gas tax revenue model with a 0.8% increase in the state’s sales tax dedicated to transportation. The proposal would make Virginia the first state in the nation to eliminate the state tax on gasoline, allocates additional general funds to transportation, capitalizes on revenues being lost on out-of-state sales, and creates a long-term revenue system to fund Virginia’s highway, rail and transit needs.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    Re: Bend ovah Mass residents

    In response to massmoderateJoe's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Here's the VA Solution........

     

    McDonnell proposes .8% increase in sales tax in the hopes of generating $3.1 billion over five years

         

    With legislators and transportation leaders by his side, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Jan. 8 a plan that would provide more than $3.1 billion in transportation funding for the Commonwealth over the next five years, tying transportation funding to economic growth and replacing the state's outdated gas tax revenue model with a 0.8% increase in the state’s sales tax dedicated to transportation. The proposal would make Virginia the first state in the nation to eliminate the state tax on gasoline, allocates additional general funds to transportation, capitalizes on revenues being lost on out-of-state sales, and creates a long-term revenue system to fund Virginia’s highway, rail and transit needs.

    [/QUOTE]


    Keep an eye on Virginia Gov McDonnell, a rising star.  He actually thinks out of the box.

    Northern Virginia is a highway nightmare. One innovative solution just completed is the new HOV lanes on the DC Beltway, financed in part with private money. The cost of using the lanes varies depending on the traffic... naturally unions hated the idea of private companies elbowing in on their action ....

       Also, tying new revenue dedicated to transportation , with tax reform and economic growth is a good idea.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from massmoderateJoe. Show massmoderateJoe's posts

    Re: Bend ovah Mass residents

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to massmoderateJoe's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Here's the VA Solution........

     

    McDonnell proposes .8% increase in sales tax in the hopes of generating $3.1 billion over five years

         

    With legislators and transportation leaders by his side, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Jan. 8 a plan that would provide more than $3.1 billion in transportation funding for the Commonwealth over the next five years, tying transportation funding to economic growth and replacing the state's outdated gas tax revenue model with a 0.8% increase in the state’s sales tax dedicated to transportation. The proposal would make Virginia the first state in the nation to eliminate the state tax on gasoline, allocates additional general funds to transportation, capitalizes on revenues being lost on out-of-state sales, and creates a long-term revenue system to fund Virginia’s highway, rail and transit needs.

    [/QUOTE]


    Keep an eye on Virginia Gov McDonnell, a rising star.  He actually thinks out of the box.

    Northern Virginia is a highway nightmare. One innovative solution just completed is the new HOV lanes on the DC Beltway, financed in part with private money. The cost of using the lanes varies depending on the traffic... naturally unions hated the idea of private companies elbowing in on their action ....

       Also, tying new revenue dedicated to transportation , with tax reform and economic growth is a good idea.

    [/QUOTE]

    That was know in the industry as a P3 project a public private partnership that has the concessionaire design, build, operate, maintain, finance and operatate a facility on a specific backback realtionship with the government.  At the end of the contract anywhere from 25 to 50 years the concessionaire turns over the facility in good working order to the to government.

    The High Occupancy/Toll lane is availble for free to HOV's and other pay a toll, it's all about free choice in the market place.  This is what was proposed in December by an entity to solve the RT 3 problem on the south shore that was paned by the Administration.

     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Bend ovah Mass residents

    It's frustrating for sure. Transportation and roads have been mismanaged in this state for as long as I can remember. Massachusetts has a dismal record in investing in a good system of mass transportation. They also have a dismal record in investing in road repair. Traffic in and out of Boston (especially from North of Boston) as well as traffic on 128 continues to be almost intolerable.

    I wouldn't mind paying a little more in gas tax if I could be assured that serious reforms would take place and the money would be spent correctly and in a forward looking manner. It's difficult to place any faith in that happening when leadership is there by virtue of political favor and not any actual ability to do anaylyze needs.

    Don't even get me started on the Big Dig. I am sure most North of Boston people like myself share in the frustration that we are stuck paying for something that really provided us no benefit and no traffic relief. The Big Dig is now in the history books as a classic case of government mismanagement and overspending.

     
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