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Gas and Cigarette Tax Going Up in Massachusetts
LEE--The Bay State just became a more expensive place in which to live and work. Lawmakers in Massachusetts have voted to override Governor Deval Patricks veto of a transportation financing bill. That means, $500 million in new taxes will be put into place starting next week.
The increase will be seen in gasoline, cigarette and computer purchases. The state will collect an additional 3 cents per gallon on gas, a rate that can change based on inflation. An additional $1 tax on cigarette purchases will be added as will state sales tax on computer equipment and services. Lawmakers claim the $500 million dollars generated by the new taxes will be used to modernize aging in infrastructure and jump-start stalled projects. If they put it toward the roads and bridges, I think it'd be great... if they stick it someplace else it's a waste of time and money, says Peter Rathbun of Stockbridge. Many of those stalled projects being looked at for investment though are in the Eastern and Southern part of the state, what else is newwe pay for all kinds of expansion down there with the new roads going into the airport and everything else, it always seems Western Massachusetts gets left behind, says David Gilmore of Lee.
Initially, there was talk of adding tolls on the western-most part of the Massachusetts Turnpike to generate money but lawmakers decided against that, spreading the pain out among everyone in the state instead of just those who travel through it. Gilmore is a bit more annoyed with these new taxes because its a double-whammy, as a smoker, I think they've hit us hard enough over the years without always going to that well, of saying there's never any controversy if we need to go up on prices of cigs, he says.
The increase in taxes goes into effect on Wednesday.