MMA statement applauding the House-Senate transportation finance legislation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith at (617) 426-7272
 
On behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association applauds the leaders of the House and Senate for reaching agreement on an impressive plan to address our state’s transportation finance needs now and into the future. Speaker DeLeo, President Murray, Chairman Dempsey, Chairman Brewer, Chairman Straus, Chairman McGee and their colleagues have crafted a comprehensive framework of revenues and legislative actions designed to solve the immediate and long-term transportation funding crisis facing Massachusetts. We urge the members of the General Court to support the conference committee report.

The legislation would establish a strong and balanced set of tax increases and identified revenue sources, generating $805 million annually for state and local transportation needs once the plan is fully implemented. Local officials deeply appreciate and praise the Legislature’s unanimous vote to increase the Chapter 90 program to maintain and repair local roads to $300 million a year, and the conference committee report clearly includes adequate revenues to support the release of the full $300 million to cities and towns this year.

Communities maintain 90 percent of the roadways in the state, and this is a timely and essential investment to fix crumbling roads in every corner of Massachusetts. In addition, increasing Chapter 90 to $300 million a year will yield immediate benefits and address a major goal of transportation reform – regional equity. The Chapter 90 program is the most effective and efficient way to ensure regional equity and regional access to increased transportation tax revenues. Cities and towns receive their funds through a tried-and-true formula that shares revenues in a fair way with taxpayers in every community. Plus, cities and towns face such a backlog of need that the increase will immediately result in visible and necessary construction and repair projects on local roads across Massachusetts.

We look forward to working in partnership with the Legislature and governor to advance all components of a balanced and sweeping transportation package, including these new tax revenues, and all steps necessary to provide for maintenance and repairs to our current infrastructure, program expansions, and proposed reforms.