Sharing your story through the many emails and calls resonated within the halls of the State House.
We are pleased to announce that Governor Charlie Baker has pulled Massachusetts from the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). Thank you to the many small business owners that answered our calls to action and contacted their elected officials over the past three years to raise concerns regarding the hidden fuel taxes built into TCI.
For those that need a refresher, in December of 2018 Governor Charlie Baker announced Massachusetts would join a coalition of northeast states to reduce transportation carbon emissions through a “cap and invest” policy called the Transportation and Climate Initiative. NFIB immediately sounded the alarm bells that this would include hidden charges for fuel distributors that would be passed along to consumers at the gas pumps. It meant higher fuel prices for small businesses, workers, and all residents of the affected region.
When the proponents began firming up their plans and explained how TCI would work, they projected it may cost motorists upwards of 17 cents per gallon in TCI-related taxes. Additional reports projected it could cost as much as 38 cents per gallon. At this point New Hampshire immediately opted out of TCI. NFIB joined a coalition to help raise awareness of the price tag of this flawed policy and what it meant for the cost of goods and services in the 12-state region. As more information on TCI became available, states’ support for TCI began wavering including Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
NFIB repeatedly asked business owners to contact lawmakers explaining how higher fuel prices would impact your business and we truly appreciate your strong advocacy. Your many emails and calls resonated within the halls of the State House adding pressure for legislators and Governor Baker to abandon TCI. Your grassroots work helped amplify NFIB’s message in the media, that TCI would harm the state’s economy and increase the cost of doing business in Massachusetts.
It became clear that this policy was less about the environment and more about revenue for states. Public data revealed without TCI, new cleaner vehicles would naturally drop transportation emissions by almost as much as with TCI and its punitive taxes in place. Meaning proponents were making more of a cash grab for state coffers than effective policy to better air quality, which was going to happen organically through lower emission vehicles all without TCI’s taxes passed to Massachusetts motorists.
From all of us at NFIB, we are truly grateful for the work you did to help prevent this destructive policy. But we must not rest on our laurels, as lawmakers are already dreaming up creative new ways to implement similar policies that will drive up energy prices for Massachusetts small businesses while threatening the state’s competitiveness both nationally and globally.
Senior Grassroots Manager