BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Prices at the pump continue to climb, just as lawmakers continue talking about adding the state sales tax to a gallon of gas. A price jump in gasoline had drivers nationwide paying record-high prices for the month of January.
Political reporter Pat Warren reports so far February is not getting any better.
Gas prices are up almost 10 cents in one week on a national average and up about a nickel in Maryland.
“I never thought I’d be paying $3.50 to drive to work,” said one driver.
Nothing fuels the fire of drivers like watching that pump go from zero to 60, which drivers can’t control…unless it’s lawmakers taxing them on top of it. In that case, as taxpayers, they’d like to think they do have some control.
“Maryland’s a tax state. That’s why I moved out of here,” said one driver.
Marylanders are paying on average five cents more for a gallon of gas this week than last.
“We can’t afford to drive now. I drive 30 miles from Pasadena to Towson one way every day. I’ve gone about a quarter of a tank and it cost me about $70 to fill my truck. It costs me $100 a week just to come to work in gasoline,” said Cynthia Bosworth.
And don’t look for relief any time soon.
“We’re talking prices that are 43 cents a gallon higher than a year ago. This time last year, Marylanders were paying $3.09 a gallon. Now they’re paying $3.52,” said Christine Delise, AAA Mid-Atlantic.
But Governor Martin O’Malley makes the case for a tax increase for the state’s transportation needs.
“Maryland has some of the worst traffic in America and we pay a heavy price in terms of the time we spend idling in bumper to bumper traffic when we could be at home with our families,” O’Malley said.
And that, too, rings true.
“If it goes toward the roads or the bridges, it’s fine, but they’re just taking the money and using it as they feel fit to do,” said Ace Hughes.
That’s another issue being addressed this session.
There’s a hearing on a bill to protect transportation dollars from being siphoned off for other uses Tuesday.
The governor proposes adding a two percent sales tax to gasoline every year for three years.