Thursday, March 19, 2009

Three Cheers for the Little Guy

The hardworking taxpayers of Massachusetts deserve a round of applause this afternoon. That’s because they stood up and said no to business as usual on Beacon Hill. For the last month, every tax, toll and fee increase has been proposed by the Patrick Administration. But in a turn of events, today, Governor Patrick announced, with the backing of the Senate President and the House Speaker, he plans to call on the Mass. Turnpike Authority board to delay the toll hike and instead use a portion of authority’s reserve funds to deal with the immediate fiscal crisis facing the Turnpike.

It is unconscionable to think that Governor Patrick and his administration did not explore this option prior to passing a 100% toll increase that would have had a detrimental effect on commuters from the North Shore and Metrowest communities. This is just another scenario that underscores the need for reform before revenue. Governor Patrick promised transparency and there is no greater need for it than right now. In order to successfully tackle the problems facing the transportation system, we must fully understand the magnitude of the situation instead of throwing taxpayer money into a system in disrepair.