November is still a ways off, but the campaign appears to be underway, at least among Westford’s candidates.
Earlier this week, Republican State Representative candidate and Westford Planning Board vice chairman Dennis Galvin was on hand at an event in Lowell to protest automatic indexing of the gas tax.
The measure, passed last year, would automatically adjust Massachusetts’ gas tax according to inflation figures, an approach that Galvin sees not only a back door tax increase, but an affront to American values.
“There’s a possibility that taxes could go down, but it’s a very unlikely outcome,” said Galvin. “However, the thing is that any tax that can go up without a vote by the legislature is a violation of the principle ‘taxation without representation.’”
Event organizer Steve Aylwood disagreed with Galvin’s statement that gas taxes could theoretically go down if the indexing measure is not repealed, citing what he claims is language in the legislation that would prohibit decreases as well as extenuating economic factors that would prevent decreases.
“If you’ve been to the supermarket lately, the price of everything is going up all the time,” said Aylwood. “This is because of gasoline costs getting products to market. The price goes up then inflation goes up, then the tax goes up which drives the price up which drives the inflation up. It’s just a vicious circle.”
While Galvin praised his opponent, State Representative Jim Arciero (D-Westford), for initially voting against the legislation, he criticized him for not voting against the measure again when it was added by Governor Patrick as an amendment to a larger transportation finance bill.
Additionally, Galvin criticized Arciero for not taking more of a leadership role overall in the House.
“Ultimately, it’s not a matter of whether you like him, but what has he done?,” said Galvin. “We have to be able to make this a more business friendly state across the board.”
The event in Lowell was the third of the day by Aylwood’s group following stops in Framingham and Worcester in an effort to place a ballot initiative in front of voters to repeal the measure.
More information on the group is available at www.tankthegastax.org.