POLITICS: Campaigns

Automatic gas tax emerging as key campaign issue

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News,Business,Taxes,Massachusetts,Campaigns,Gas Tax

BOSTON (AP) — Critics of a law that allows for automatic increases in Massachusetts' gasoline tax have pounced on the issue with the hope of pushing it to the forefront of the election year debate.

Republicans opposed to gas tax indexing believe the issue could resonate strongly with independents and moderate Democrats.

The Democrat-controlled Legislature last year raised the gasoline tax from 21 cents to 24 cents a gallon and indexed the tax to inflation.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker is among those supporting a ballot question that would repeal the indexing provision and require lawmakers to vote on future increases.

Supporters of the automatic hikes say they're vital to ensuring the state has the funds to maintain and improve its transportation system.

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