Protesters Occupy Gas Tax Saturday

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Marylanders could soon experience even more pain at the pump.

Jessica Kartalija reports protesters want to put the brakes on a proposed increase in the gas tax.

“We believe if we increase awareness, let people know what’s going on, they’re going to demand their elected officials do the right thing,” said Steve Bailey, Americans for Prosperity.

A proposal to raise the gas tax here in Maryland has a group called Americans for Prosperity occupying a gas station along York Road.

“Rogue government, basically, imposing taxes without anyone doing anything about it,” said Martin Taffe, protesting gas tax.

This after Governor Martin O’Malley proposed a 15 cent-per-gallon increase to the current gas tax to go toward improving infrastructure.

“If the money that was supposed to go to transportation stayed there, there wouldn’t be a need for a tax increase,” said Dr. Jack Gordon, protesting gas tax.

“What we have to figure out is whether we are willing to pay another penny to bring those things about or another nickel or another dime,” said O’Malley.

The last time the state raised the tax per gallon was back in 1992. Right now, drivers pay a 23.5 cent tax per gallon. A 15 percent increase could cost an extra $2.50 per fill-up.

Protesters say that’s too much.

“When someone is standing at the pump and they are paying $3.25 a gallon for gas, it’s very easy to convince them to put their name on a petition to oppose a gas tax increase,” Bailey said.

Occupy the Gas Tax organizers say they aren’t protesting gas station owners; they’re just tired of shelling out more money in taxes.

“It’s just another imposition on the working families of the state of Maryland. There’s no need for it,” Gordon said.

A Gonzales poll last fall showed that 77 percent of Marylanders opposed even a 10 cent increase to the gasoline tax.

Officials in Pennsylvania and Virginia are also considering an increase to their gas tax.

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