The highest court in Massachusetts has dismissed the class action lawsuit filed by commuters who had objected to polls collected on the Massachusetts Turnpike to pay for the Big Dig Highway Project.
Jan Schlichtmann, one of the nation's most notable civil action attorney's and featured legal commentator on The Legal Broadcast Network, represents the commuters.
This ruling has removed hard-earned constitutional protections that prevented cash-strapped government entities from imposing taxes masquerading as fees but really is just another attempt to take money from people.
The taxpayers of Massachusetts were being charged for the expense and debt incurred for building the road but 58 cents from each dollar was being used to pay for the Big Dig Project. As Massachusetts was one of the first states to have paid turnpike systems, they had a surplus in the late 1990's which helped for the upkeep and improvements. However, it had run into cash overruns on the Big Dig Project, which escalated to $24 billion. The Massachusetts legislature took the turnpike and combined it with the Big Dig Project and called it one system, which gave them the excuse to collect money for a toll road and Big Dig expense.
Jan Schlichtmann plans on an appeal, as he believes the government cannot make charges on people without the people's consent. He says that if the government is going to provide a service, the money charged for that service cannot be used for something else.
Visit Jan Schlichtmann's website for more information on him at www.SpeakingOfJustice.com.
For a related story in the Boston Globe, click here.