Md. Lawmakers Consider Increasing Gas Tax

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — On top of the near-record rise in gasoline prices, the House and Senate in Maryland are considering an additional tax of a dime per gallon.  Those against the move let their feelings be known.

Mike Schuh has more.

No one denies that Maryland needs more money, but many just don’t want it collected a dollar or two at a time at the pump.

“People gotta make a decision. Are they going to put it in their gas tank or go out and dine and eat or go visit places in Maryland?” said Gary Brooks.

This gas tax and other fee increases would pump $400 million into the state’s transportation trust fund.  Right now, we pay 23.5 cents per gallon.  It goes to the upkeep of roads, but that fund has been depleted to balance the state’s budget.

But protesters say a dime at a time will add up.

Trish Date’s oil business keeps 30 trucks on the road.

“It’s going to cost my company an additional $20,000 a year,” Date said.

But right now, with no money in the state’s trust fund, there’s much less money to fix local roads.

“Like our counterparts around the state, when it comes to funding for transportation, we are running on empty,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Wednesday, like she did earlier for a similar bill in the House, Rawlings-Blake agreed this tax is a way for the city to get back some or all of the $240 million the state has cut for road repairs.

In addition to the 10-cent tax, the Senate bill would also call for a $26 jump in car registration fees and increased MTA fares.

If passed, the bill also has a provision which would prohibit the legislature or government from removing money from the transportation trust fund.

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