I know most on here don’t follow Massachusetts politics, but we had a ballot question that would of abolished the income tax here, but it failed. Then today a state agency decided to increase tolls, after they increased them last year. I wrote this today for publication in our weekly university newspaper.Tolls increased

Article appearing in Mass Media, UMass Boston’s independent newspaper.

Change they believe in!

Admit it. Admit you were nervous about what would happen to the state if we voted to eliminate the income tax. Tell me you were scared by the ads of cutting health care, teachers, and policemen. If it passed, property taxes would have skyrocketed because we all know that towns can override Prop. 2 ½, without a vote, and raise them (It’s a lie they can’t). So you stepped into the voting booth and marked no on question one.

You sucker, you fell for it. You fell for the lies and propaganda that the state and unions put on the airwaves as an excuse for them to be fiscally responsible with our money. Change was in the air, and like fools, you believed Massachusetts would go along for the ride. It isn’t ‘change’ when Democrats gain more of a stranglehold on Mass. Politics. The occurrence of ‘change’ on November 14th should teach you a lesson.

Read on…Not even two weeks after saving their lifeline, the state stuck it to us again with an increased toll hike to pay for their mismanagement. As the state continuously takes more of our money, our citizens respond with ‘please sir, may I have another.’ Were you that naïve to think they are content with the money they already have? When they say ‘change we believe in’, they’re talking about the money in your pockets, not political philosophy. We’re talking about greedy pigs and the best part is there is no other party to act as a check to their power.

The Turnpike Authority voted almost unanimously to increase tolls at the Allston, Sumner, Weston and Williams’ tolls. Doubling tolls at the Sumner and Williams, and increasing from $1.25 to $2 at the Allston and Weston tolls. This is occurring right after a toll hike last October to the same tolls.

The people I feel for are the folks that live on the north shore and west of town. They continue to get robbed by the state, while people in the south shore get to ride in for free. I used to be a resident of the north shore, but saw the writing on the wall a long time ago, so I moved to Quincy and have more of my money. I also feel for people coming from the airport because their ride now costs an extra $9 from $5.25 because of the special hike to cabs. Think about how it affects some of your fellow classmates. It’s going to cost them between $8-$14 just to come and park their car on campus.

It affects me on a smaller level. I work in Allston, western section of Boston, so if I’m not taking the train, I’m driving free into Boston, but paying at the Allston tolls. It used to cost $1 before last year’s increase to $1.25 and now it’s going to run me $2 per passage, twice a day. If I drove to work for a week, it used to cost me $10, now it is going to cost me $20. That’s a 100% increase in a year, 20 times the inflation rate which is roughly 5%. It isn’t gas prices that are costing us anymore, it’s our own state.

There is some hope though. The toll increases are subjected to public hearings so my advice is to attend and voice your opposition. There isn’t much of a chance that we’ll change their minds because we never have before, but let them know there are better options to service debt than seizing our dollars constantly.

My question to you; If you could go back to November 4th with the information you have now, how would you vote on question one? My guess is you would vote in favor of abolishing the income tax as fast as you can say ‘change’.