THERE SEEMS to be total agreement among our political leaders that we need an extra $1 billion a year to pay for roads, bridges, and mass transit, but none of them are saying how they’ll raise the money (“Patrick vows new funds for roads, rail,” Page A1, Jan. 5). They seem terrified of talking about increasing taxes.
But it’s hard to see how they will come up with the money without increasing the state’s base 19 cents per gallon gas tax. The buying power of this tax has eroded by 40 percent since 1991 due to inflation — in effect, a tax cut. It has dropped as a percentage of the cost of a gallon of gasoline from approximately 15 to 7 percent.