Mass. Groups Seek New Revenue For Public Transit

A coalition of groups is recommending a small payroll tax be approved to help pay for chronically underfunded public transit services in Massachusetts.

A report to be discussed with lawmakers at the State House on Tuesday also calls for a more equitable fare structure that would give breaks to low-income riders. The report was prepared by Public Transit-Public Good, a coalition that includes community organizations and labor unions.

The groups suggest a 0.75 percent payroll tax on workers earning more than $100,000, with the revenue dedicated to paying off debt from the Big Dig and helping fund the MBTA and other regional transit systems.

"We need to invest in our transit system," said Connie Razza, of the coalition, "and so we are proposing generating new revenue that is equitable, that is progressive, and we are proposing a statewide payroll tax that would do that."

The Legislature is expected to consider possible new sources of revenue to finance the state's transportation system when it begins the next two-year in January.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on November 27, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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