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Cole, Baker Hope to 'Tank the Gas Tax'

Bay State Republicans are hoping to gather enough signatures to put a ballot question before voters in 2014 to repeal automatic annual gas tax increases.

State Rep. Leah Cole of Peabody and Swampscott Republican Charlie Baker collect signatures at the West Peabody Hannaford for a petition to repeal the new gas tax law. Credit: Courtesy
State Rep. Leah Cole of Peabody and Swampscott Republican Charlie Baker collect signatures at the West Peabody Hannaford for a petition to repeal the new gas tax law. Credit: Courtesy
Peabody Rep. Leah Cole and fellow Republicans have been actively collecting signatures in recent weeks to support a repeal of the new state gas tax, or rather the "gas tax to infinity!"

And this past weekend, the freshman lawmaker got some help from another North Shore member of the GOP -- none other than Swampscott's Charlie Baker, who is making another run for Governor in 2014.

Cole and Baker were at the Hannaford Supermarket in West Peabody for a couple hours Saturday morning.

Baker tweeted out a couple pictures from the stop and reported they were getting a "great response."

The new law passed by the legislature this summer raised the gas tax by 3 cents (to 24 cents per gallon) and tied it to the rate of inflation, which will cause automatic increases year-to-year as of January 2015.

Republicans and others opposed to the bill have criticized it as a means to continually raise revenues without any future accountability for doing so -- lawmakers won't have to vote to hike the tax each year.

You can find out more about the effort to "Tank the Gas Tax" online here. The goal is to collect 100,000 signatures statewide in order to get a ballot question before voters in November 2014 to repeal the part of the law allowing automatic increases.

The 3-cent hike would still remain in place if the repeal effort is successful.

The effort began this summer and the state attorney general's office had to approve a proposal for an initiative petition before any signatures could be collected.

The deadline now to file the signatures with election officials is Nov. 20. According to tankthegastax.org, there are about 40,000 signatures so far.

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