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MassGOP statement regarding withdrawal of Massachusetts gasoline surtax proposal

CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director
617-523-5005 ext. 245

WOBURN — A day after Gov. Charlie Baker finally withdrew the commonwealth from consideration of a multi-state gasoline surtax purportedly designed to lower the earth’s air temperature, Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons thanked activists for their work in pressuring the governor to do right by taxpayers.

Lyons singled out Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance founder Paul Craney and lead ballot initiative organizer Wendy Wakeman for special praise. The proposal, formerly known as the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), was originally billed as a joint 13-state East Coast effort and sought to add up to a 38-cent per-gallon gasoline tax surcharge at the pump, with the proceeds earmarked to fight “climate change.”

Craney and Wakeman had been working together to put the question of whether to implement TCI-related gas tax surcharges in Massachusetts before voters next fall.

“Activists were unrelenting in their drive to keep this gas tax scheme from becoming a reality in Massachusetts,” Wakeman said. “The work they did gathering signatures throughout all corners of the state to support this ballot initiative and bring it straight to the people, coupled with the vocal feedback against this disastrous proposal, proved to be the final nail in the coffin.”

Yesterday, Massachusetts became the last state to officially opt out of the plan, rendering the ballot initiative moot.

“Massachusetts taxpayers can thank Republican activists who once again teamed up to successfully beat back a gas tax scheme that threatened to cripple the commonwealth’s economy,” Lyons said. “I cannot stress enough how proud I am of them for never giving up and fighting to the end.”