(a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be established a special commission to study the statutory composition and assessment formula of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) as it relates to the definition of “51 cities and towns”, “fourteen cities and towns”, and “Other served communities” in section 1 of chapter 161A of the General Laws and to recommend statutory changes to account of the expansion and changes of our transportation system and to ensure fairness in taxation. The commission shall be composed of 11 members: 2 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the house; 2 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the senate president and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 2 members representing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority; 2 members representing the Massachusetts Department of Transportation; 2 members appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be an expert on transportation and 1 of whom shall be an expert on regional planning; and 1 member representing The Massachusetts Municipal Association.
The scope of the commission shall include, but shall not be limited to, studying the statutory makeup of the MBTA’s “51 cities and towns”, “fourteen cities and towns”, and “Other served communities”; reviewing the MBTA’s local tax assessment formula; and investigating changes and growth in the MBTA’s system over time. The committee shall also make recommendations, legislatively and otherwise, to better ensure fairness in taxation and in participation in the authority, with special attention to cities and towns that host MBTA stations and those that do not as well as areas that are served by the MBTA and those that are not.
(b) The commission shall report the results of its investigation and its recommendations by filing a report with the clerk of the senate, the clerk of the house of representatives, the joint committee on transportation, the office of the governor, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the executive director of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s fiscal and management control board no later than 6 months after the first meeting of the commission is convened.
(c) The commission shall conduct its first meeting no later than 60 days after the effective date of this act.
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