Engineers Jump into the Fray on Gas-Tax Ballot Measure

A new political action committee was formed yesterday to defend the new indexed gas tax in Massachusetts, in opposition to a ballot measure that would repeal it.

The group, Committee for Safer Roads and Bridges, is chaired by Abbie Goodman, executive director of The Engineering Center. That organization represents civil and mechanical engineers, including many who work on the types of infrastructure projects funded by the gas tax.

While she won’t say yet who is involved with the committee, Goodman says it ranges well beyond those with a narrow financial self-interest. “There is a coalition of folks who oppose the effort to repeal the gas tax, because the funding is critical for our statewide transportation needs,” she says. “The gas tax is one of the only revenue sources dedicated to road and bridge funding.”

A committee backing the ballot question, the Committee to Tank the Automatic Gas Tax Hikes, has been active since last September.

Because of changes to the law passed last year, the 26.5 cent per gallon state gas tax will be adjusted yearly to match growth in the consumer price index; the ballot measure seeks to eliminate those increases.