Massachusetts transportation officials Monday proposed a range of options, including new taxes and fees, to raise about $1 billion per year needed to maintain and modernize public transit, highways, bridges and the rest of the state’s transportation network. The options presented in the report included:
* Raising the state’s 21 cents per gallon gasoline tax, which has not changed since 1991. To raise $1 billion a year, the tax would have to be raised by 30 cents per gallon to 51 cents per gallon, making it the highest gas tax in the nation.
* Raising the state sales tax. To generate $1 billion for transportation, the rate would have to increase from the current 6.25 percent to 7.7 percent.
* Increasing the income tax. An 8 percent increase in the tax, from the current 5.25 percent to 5.66 percent, would generate $1 billion.
* Imposing an annual 2.4 cents per mile "vehicle miles traveled tax." This tax would be collected from vehicle owners during the annual safety inspection, or by use of an onboard device that records the miles the vehicle travels in a year.
* Imposing a so-called green fee, based upon a vehicle’s carbon emissions.
* Regular and frequent increases in public transit