Grassroots Effort Wants To Occupy The Gas Tax

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With the start of the General Assembly just days away, lawmakers are preparing to tackle some controversial topics, including a proposed hike in the gasoline tax.

Derek Valcourt explains there’s a grassroots effort underway to stop it.

Public opinion appears to be on their side. A September poll shows strong opposition to a gas tax increase.

Ask most drivers about raising the gas tax and the answer will come back quick.

“Terrible idea,” one driver said.

But this year, the governor may consider raising that tax by as much as fifteen cents to pay for state infrastructure projects that create jobs.

“We have to figure out whether we’re willing to pay another penny in order to bring these things about or another nickel or another dime,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.

“This is a recession. We shouldn’t be raising taxes, period,” said Nick Loffer.

Loffer is with Americans For Prosperity, a group hoping to put the brakes on a gas tax increase. They’re planning what they call “Occupy the Gas Tax” rallies at several major intersections this weekend.

“It’s a double tax. You get hit once at the pump and then whenever you do something or have to pay for something that’s dependent on transportation, gasoline, that cost is going to be passed on to you,” Loffer said.

Those who support a gas tax hike say it’s about time. They point out it’s been about 20 years, back in 1992, when the state last raised the taxes we pay per gallon.

“I think we consume fossil fuels recklessly and I think gas should be actually much more expensive than it is, so I think it’s a good thing. I support it,” said John David Evans.

Right now, for each gallon you pump, you’re already pumping out 23.5 cents in state taxes. A fifteen cent hike for drivers of most sedans would equal about $2.50 a fill-up. It’s a price some say would pump pain into their wallets.

“I understand the motivation behind it, but it’s scary. I already pay a lot for gas,” said Trina Brooks.

Opposition appears to cross political lines. That September Gonzales poll shows both Republican and Democratic voters oppose significant increases in the gas tax.

Occupy the Gas Tax rallies will be held this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. They’ll have one at the intersection of York and Seminary, one at the intersection of Bel Air and Joppa and one at Rt. 40 E and Middle River.

For more information on Americans For Prosperity, click here. For more information on the Gonzales poll results, click here.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • mr.right

    At a time when people are hurting the most why in the word would the state government what ad to their misery ? They big talk about big oil but what about a even bigger government? who ARE turning their citizens tax slaves and slave to the environmental movement they don’t think that gas is high enough that is why they are always raising taxes every other week!

  • mr.right

    At a time when people are hurting the most why in the world would the state government what ad to their misery ? who ARE turning their citizens tax slaves and slave to the environmental movement they don’t think that is why they are always raising gas taxes every other week!

  • Steve

    The biggest problem here is the lunacy that the state some how believes that this tax increase will create as many jobs as it will cause the loss of. This won’t create a single surplus job, just shift from one job title to the next while putting hardworking people out of a job. If the bridge needs to be protected from “Terrorism”, then the Department of Homeland Security needs to pay for the monitoring of the bridge. Increasing the gas tax to pay for this after you’ve bled it dry to pay for other items just shows a true lack of management of the state government.

  • trap

    Why are the rallies not in Annapolis? What good does it do on York Road? It will cause more traffic which means more gas burned! Occupy the lazy politicians doorstep instead!

    • Stacey

      I agree!!! Must be done in downtown Annapolis!!!

  • Ed Arnold

    Once again the Politicians think with their minds of getting re-elected by spending more and cutting nothing. If you add more taxes to gas then businesses will have to cut jobs to pay for your irresponsible spending. HEY O’MALLY its not monopoly money you are spending its our money. Oh that’s right you can do what you want you are not up for re-election!

  • Ronnie Adams

    Vote all these bums out of office and put people who are in touch with real citizesn in office to finally end this money grabbing. You cannot tax you way into prosperity!

  • Tom Henry


    If you want to help out, please join us 11-1 on Saturday! I’ll be coordinating the Belair and Joppa intersections. We were able to beat it back during the last special session, we can do it again!

  • Susan

    Most people have no choice about buying gas. I live in a rural area with no taxi or bus service, what am I supposed to do???

    Why don’t they increase the tax on things we can easily chose not to buy because we don’t NEED them (as opposed to merely want) like cigarettes, alcohol and gambling? Gambling is a vice, let them tax that with a “cover charge tax” to go into a casino and also take a bigger cut of lottery sales or apply a sales tax to lottery ticket purchases. All of us can do without those things &, in fact, would be much better off. Most of us need gas to get to and from work, school, doctor’s offices and such, but none of us need alcohol, tobacco, and gambling to do that, do we?

    If you can afford those non essential things now, in theory you already have some disposable income., so a few cents more will not hurt you.

    I applaud the occupy protesters’ right to have peaceful assemblies to express their freedom of speech, but in the long run I sadly do not think they will change anything. If they tie up traffic & inconvenience people to protest, it will just hurt their cause. Somebody needs to give the politicians a better idea and I have already outlined mine.

    • dave

      Hey Susan,
      Omalley has already raised the alcohol tax and the cigarette tax and the casino tax and the sales tax and the toll tax and the car registration tax etc

      • libertybell

        So does that make it right or OK Dave? Maryland is already one of the most expensive states to live in tax wise. O’Malley is a poor excuse for a Governor and we need to move him out! He has allowed the hugh increase of illegal latino population to insure himself votes! Dutch, Cardin, Bush, Miller…. They ARE the problem in Maryland! They created the unfriendly bussiness environment and chased many companies out of Maryland. They have passed the regulations that are strangeling small business. Change the leadership and change the future of our State!

  • Ernie

    No taxes should be raised until all reckless spending has been cut.

    • forced to work

      I agree totally that no new taxes should be raised until all of the reckless spending is under control. I could loose my job. does my employer want to pay higher price for me to drive my car? I am really concidering moving to another country. Life as an American is shameful.

  • Ernest

    I say let’s do this a little diferent. Take 3 weekends (Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day) and everybody “Sit On Your Gas”. Don’t go to Ocean City, or any other big money attraction. Don’t drive at all. I know this is a big saccrifice, but, if we hit the state in the pocketbook, they will get the idea (remember BoA and Verizon). This will take away not only the extra gas tax income, but, also the increased tolls and amusement taxes. Let the state figure out what happened. If they would lead by example and make some concessions of their own ( a 15% across the board pay cut for all elected officials and the termination of the state take home car program), people may be more apt to SMALL increases elsewhere.

  • Anita Schatz

    I plan on being at the Belair and Joppa location Saturday. We did this the last time OWEMalley tried to add a gas tax and stopped it. We do see results or I wouldn’t do this repeatedly. Keep in mind, this will affect prices on everything that is shipped…food, etc. Folks need to find their local chapters of AFP of Maryland and your local Conservative Clubs and attend the meetings to get the nitty gritty of what really goes on behind closed doors that the everyday Joe doesn’t know about. Maryland is corrupt, period. The money supposedly going to the projects from the gas tax, gets spent wherever OWEMalley wants to spend it. It rarely goes to where we believe it does. That goes for so many other taxes, fees, whatever they want to call it. Read this…it’s dated and more increases are coming…be sure to have a stiff drink in your hand when you do…if you can afford the tax on it. After you read it, contact Delegates Joe Boteler or John Cluster to get the latest details on OWEMalley’s plans to raid our pocket books. I went to the meeting they held last night to hear about it…I had trouble getting to sleep last night. In case you haven’t thought about it, start changing your party affiliation now for the 2012 elections, so you can vote in the Primary as well as the General Election.

  • Mik

    Don’t cut spending Oh no just keep paying unemployment for ever and waste $ on everything under the book and all they can come up with everytime is raising fee’s and taxes have they been to the grocery store lately gas station or paid the electric bills unbelievable

    • libertybell

      Mik… by continuing the hand outs…. he guarantees himself votes! O’Malley is not about to cross the libs! He continues to hit the hard working average joe who is most likely center right and thinks that we will continue to be the silent majority. WE CAN NO LONGER BE SILENT!!!! Attend a rally Saturday and who your distain for this socialist strangle hold.

  • Stacey

    Let’s do it outside O’Malley’s house in Annapolis.,

  • bernadette Z

    OCCUPY ANNAPOLIS! What the hell is wrong with these politicians…we are NOT A limitless credit line…O’MALLEY: YOUR CREDI T LINE IS FROZEN. Wish we could recall the creep and a bunch of them in the General Assembly. Sickening what they are doing to Maryland.

  • Willy's Mom

    Why do we give Casa de Maryland money? Use that money to repair infrastructure in the state and by the why do not hire illegats to do the work.
    What happened to the money that the state got from the ‘stimulus’. Let’s see some accounting for that.

  • Smash Crasher

    Just keep blindly pulling that “D” lever lemmings. You people are your own worst enemies. You Democratic FOOLS empower these criminals to steal your money with your VOTE. But you re-elect them time after time after time like the good little brainwashed sheep you are. You are the problem, not the politicians. Think about it. Oops, there’s that elusive word again – THINK.

    • Taxed to death

      Great comment. We elect these people based on the fact they tell us ahead of time of HOPE and CHANGE. What do we get? MORE TAXES> They lie and then we complain. These are Polaticians and they will tell you anything to get elected. I pesonally believe we should have more Impeachment hearings and hold these people ACCOUNTABLE! I know in the Government this word is only used as something nice to have but no one expects to be held ACCOUNTABLE.

  • Self employed payroll

    If you wish to become self-employed, there’s no much better period when compared with right now. Within this particular record i will show you just how i moved via running-scared personnel to … Self-employed

  • Taxed to death

    Let us look at this a little different. We assume that O’Mally really cares about what we think. He hasn’t so far. The only solution iis to wait till Election time and get he and his cronies out of office. You can call Annapolis and file a concern but I can tell you it will fall on deaf ears. I believe we have enough taxes already and with gas prices going up and my income stays the same, HOW CAN I AFFORD IT!

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