MassDOT secretary Tibbits tolling comments


An idea floated by the secretary for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation about adding tolls at the state’s borders has some people telling Monica Tibbits-Nutt she needs to pump the brakes.
The MassDOT secretary was giving a keynote speech at a WalkMassachusetts gathering on April 10 when she talked about the need to get “aggressive” to have enough money for safe transportation in the Bay State. She shared with the advocacy group audience that a funding task force has been created that is different than all the others.
“This one is actually different because we aren’t censoring this,” she said. “I’m going to talk about tolling, I’m going to talk about charging TNCs more, I’m going to be talking about potentially charging more for package deliveries, charging more for payroll taxes, basically going after everyone who has money.”
“And when I’m talking tolling, I’m talking at the borders. I’m not talking like within Massachusetts,” she continued. “But we are going after all the people who should be giving us money to make our transportation better and our communities better…”
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Her comments don’t appear to be sitting well across the border with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
“Looks like Massachusetts has found yet another way to unnecessarily take your money,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “All the more reason for more Massachusetts residents to make the permanent move to New Hampshire. The Live Free or Die state continues to be the place to be.”
NBC10 Boston also reached out to Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee for a statement but has not heard back yet.
Back home in Massachusetts, Tibbits-Nutt’s ideas were also not embraced by people like state auditor Diana DiZoglio.
“Merrimack Valley kid here. Putting a toll at the NH border would have DEVASTATING impacts on our region, not just economically speaking, but also regarding the unmanageable congestion & infrastructural burden it would create on every local backroad,” DiZoglio wrote on social media. “Creating a border war is not the answer and it’s definitely families within Massachusetts who would ultimately be hurt by this move — border communities count. I strongly urge the administration to reject this approach.”
The nonprofit Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance condemned Tibbits-Nutt for her “unsettling” and “insensitive” comments, calling them “simply reprehensible.”
“She describes her targets that will affect ordinary people, like people who commute from border states, people who get packages delivered, people who take Uber and Lyft rides, and even people who pay payroll taxes. Decisions to raise taxes, fees, or adding tolling should be made by our elected legislature, not announced by an overzealous, unelected bureaucrat before a special interest advocacy organization,” Paul Diego Craney, a spokesperson for MassFiscal, said in a statement posted online. “It’s frightening to think an official so high up in the Healey administration is bragging to a special interest advocacy group about the economic pain she wants to inflict on the very people who she’s supposed to work for. Remarks like this have no place in state government. Secretary Tibbits should be dismissed from her position in state government, as she’s clearly demonstrated she does not have the best interests of all the residents of Massachusetts at heart.”



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