Activist Tries DIY Signature Drive to Suspend Gas Tax


Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly support a suspension of the gas tax, according to a NewsLinkLive poll conducted by Lou DiNatale of Princeton Research Associates.

By a margin of 59% to 33%, voters said that given the current cost of gas the state should suspend the gas tax. “Massachusetts drivers are being hammered by inflation and they need relief,” said Harold Hubschman, founder of, a campaign to place a binding initiative on the Massachusetts ballot to suspend the gas tax whenever the price per gallon is $3 or higher. “Our political leaders on Beacon Hill refuse to consider suspending the gas tax, no matter how high the price is. This poll should drive home to them that by a two to one margin, this is what their constituents want them to do.”

The poll was conducted between October 15 and October 19 using Automated telephone interactive voice response calls to 500 registered voters. The result has a margin of error of 4.1%. Crosstabs can be viewed at

The ballot initiative was launched in response to the dramatic increase in the price of gas in the last two years. In January 2021, the average price of regular gas in Massachusetts was $2.38 per gallon. Today, it’s nearly $4, and nearly $5 for premium and diesel. This includes a 24 cent per gallon gas tax. “These prices are unsustainable for most drivers,” said Hubschman. “Our legislators obviously can’t control the spot price for gas on the world market. But they can knock 24 cents per gallon off the price by suspending the gas tax.”

Massachusetts can clearly afford to give drivers gas tax relief. Tax revenues in 2021 were so high that under Massachusetts General Law, the state is obligated to return nearly $3 billion to taxpayers. Overall, according to State Treasurer Goldberg, Massachusetts has nearly $16 billion in cash in the bank, including nearly $7 billion in the rainy day fund. “Well, it’s raining! says Hubschman, “That’s why we’re putting the issue on the ballot in 2024. If our legislators won’t pass gas tax relief, the voters will do it themselves.”

To put an initiative on the ballot, needs to submit 100,000 signatures of registered Massachusetts voters on the Secretary of State’s official petition. is employing a never before attempted strategy for collecting signatures. The campaign will not raise any money to hire paid petitioners or recruit volunteers to stand in front of supermarkets with clipboards. Instead, Massachusetts voters will be invited to visit and request that a petition be mailed to them.

To receive the petition, voters will be asked to donate $2.95 to cover the cost of collecting and processing all the signatures on their petition. (If everyone in the voter’s household signs, it’s still $2.95) This includes printing and mailing the petition packet to the voter; postage on a prepaid business reply envelope that is included in the packet for the voter to mail the signed petition to their local election department for the election clerk to register and count their signatures; and the postage and courier costs for the campaign to retrieve all 100,000 signed petitions from the 351 Massachusetts city and town election departments and deliver them to the Massachusetts Secretary of State.

“We created this online platform to make it easy for voters to put common sense laws on the ballot so we can pass them ourselves if our legislators refuse to act,” said Hubschman. “Instead of needing to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire an expensive army of paid petitioners, or needing to build a massive volunteer signature drive organization with clipboards and walk lists and supermarket schedules – both of which are out of reach for most political organizations – we are using social media and crowdsourcing to assemble and mobilize an online community of voters who want to sign initiative petitions to help get issues that they support and care about on the ballot.”

Hubschman is the founder and president of, the leading signature drive firm in New England and one of the top firms in the country. He has been running signature drives for nearly 30 years. Together with his two business partners, and a team of very talented managers and elite petitioners around the country, his firm has run over 100 statewide signature drives (all of them successful) in 26 states, for ballot initiative and for candidates at all levels, from city council and mayor to presidential campaigns.

“Access to the citizen ballot initiative process should not be limited only to wealthy individuals and organizations,” said Hubschman, “The goal of this project is to democratize the process of getting initiatives on the ballot by having the signers of the initiative finance the entire signature drive themselves. Our plan is to collect all 100,000 signatures from voters who request a petition be mailed to them and who agree to pay $2.95 to cover the cost of processing their own petition. We are so committed to having our signers literally be our sole source of funding our signature drive that we don’t even have a mechanism on our platform to raise money to hire paid petitioners. Our donation page is hardwired to only accept $2.95 to pay for a petition packet and only after the donor submits their postal address so we can send it to them.”

Putting this initiative to suspend the gas tax on the ballot is only the first step. “Our long-term objective is to build an online community of Massachusetts voters, and eventually voters from every ballot initiative state in the country, who want to sign petitions to put issues on the ballot that have broad popular support but that our legislators won’t pass,” explained Hubschman. “Eventually campaigns will be able to use our platform to collect signatures the way they now use political donation platforms to raise money. Voters will come to our platform to, in effect, donate a signature the way they go to websites such as ActBlue or WinRed to donate money.”

The next step, after completing the signature drive, is to expand the platform to other issues. “Signing a petition for a candidate or ballot initiative is one of our most basic rights as voters,” says Hubschman. “It’s as fundamental to our democratic system as voting. This will completely change how signature drives are run.”

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