Legislators estimate that their proposal could add $522 to $612 million more in annual funding for the state's transportation systems.
Some of that new revenue would be dedicated on an ongoing basis to the state's Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs). While the MBTA receives a dedicated portion of the state's sales tax each year, the RTAs to date have not had a similarly dedicated source of state revenue.
Chris Dempsey, director of the Transportation for Massachusetts coalition, said in a statement that "this proposal is a step forward and enables new, needed investments" and added that "we will work to strengthen the final bill to further advance equitable and efficient transportation for all Massachusetts residents."
Two Boston-area business groups also offered praise for the bill in press releases issued Wednesday afternoon.
"Much of the House bill is forward looking and several aspects of the package align with what employers recognize is necessary: using pricing to influence behavior with the ultimate goal of getting cars off the road, improving public transit, and reducing emissions," wrote the Boston Regional Chamber of Commerce in a press release.
The Commonwealth's gas tax hasn't been increased since 2013, and is significantly lower than gas tax rates in neighboring states like Connecticut (42 cents per gallon), Rhode Island (35 cents), and New York (46 cents).