CAGW Names Gov. Charlie Baker September Porker of the Month | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Names Gov. Charlie Baker September Porker of the Month

Porker of the Month

Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) its September Porker of the Month for signing into law a destructive and foolish tax on citizens who use ride-sharing apps in order to bailout the stalled taxi industry.

On August 5, 2016, Gov. Baker signed into law a “first of its kind” tax on ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.  The five-cent tax will be added onto each ride and is required by law to be hidden from invoices so as to minimize political backlash.  The money raised from the new tax will be used to help the taxi industry develop “new technologies and advanced service.” 

Gov. Baker’s attempt to prop up the politically powerful taxi cartel by taxing its competition is the worst kind of government cronyism.  The state should not be picking winners and losers, or worse, aiding one industry at the expense of another. 

The alarming nature of this scheme is best exemplified by Mark Sternman, the spokesman for the MassDevelopment agency, which will be in charge of the funds.  He admitted that plans for how to spend the influx of cash “still need to be drawn up.”  The fact that a tax is set to be levied with an amorphous and unwritten goal sets a dangerous precedent for Massachusetts taxpayers, as well as other jurisdictions that may be considering similar action.  As CAGW has detailed for decades, when taxpayer dollars are funneled through a system with minimal oversight and nebulous objectives, that money will always be squandered.   

For setting up a wasteful scheme that picks winners and losers by taxing innovative businesses in order to bailout a failed cartel, CAGW names Gov. Charlie Baker its September Porker of the Month.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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