Patrick Presents Ambitious Transportation Plan With Green Line Implications
The plan calls for the state to invest $13 billion in transportation over the next decade.
Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation unveiled a plan Monday to pump billions of dollars into the state's transportation infrastructure over the next decade, according to Masslive.com, WBUR and other reports.
The plan, which lists the Green Line Extension through Somerville as one of a handful of projects on the state's transportation agenda, says Massachusetts needs to raise $13 billion—$1.02 billion a year—over the next 10 years, according to Masslive.com.
It lists the state's transportation needs and proposes several options for raising the revenue. It says any one of the following options would raise $1 billion a year:
- A 0.16 percent payroll tax
- Increasing the motor fuels (gas) tax to 51 cents per gallon (it's currently 21 cents per gallon, 15th lowest in the nation and lower than in any surrounding state other than New Hampshire).
- A sales tax increase from 6.25 percent to 7.75 percent
- An income tax increase from 5.25 percent to 5.66 percent
- A "green fee" that would add $15 to $85 to people's vehicle registration fees, paid every two years, depending on what kind of car they drive
- A vehicle miles traveled tax of 2.4 cents per mile
- Increases on fees, fares and tolls
- New tolling mechanisms
- Tolls on the Western Turnpike
The plan does not, however, recommend any particular option. WBUR reported on air that Patrick would outline his preferences Wednesday.
In reference to the Green Line Extension, the plan said the cost of the project is now projected to be $1,327,517,000.
The federal government, in accepting the Green Line Extension into the first stages of its New Starts program, which could fund much of the project, said one of the major factors that might prevent the Green Line Extension from receiving federal funds is the state's transportation fiscal problems.
As such, the plan and proposals outlined Monday, if adopted, would contribute to the Green Line Extension's case for federal dollars.