O’Malley Tries To Sell Lawmakers On Gas Tax

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Increasing the state’s gas tax is a hugely unpopular idea but Governor Martin O’Malley says it needs to be done. To that end, he took his message to lawmakers Wednesday afternoon.

Derek Valcourt has more on why the governor says we need it and why many drivers insist we don’t.

The major obstacle is sticker shock here at the pump.

Governor Martin O’Malley made his case to lawmakers, arguing an increase in the gas tax will increase new jobs by allowing counties and the city to get moving on long-delayed transportation projects like the building of the red line from Woodlawn to Johns Hopkins Bayview. O’Malley says it will help ensure the safety of Maryland’s deteriorating roads and bridges.

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“Look, none of us wants to pay more at the pump. We do not have to do this but you know that if we do not, we will pay for that, too,” O’Malley said. “Inaction, especially in this case, does have a cost.”

But with gas prices up 24 cents from where they were just one month ago, adding to the gas tax infuriates many.

“Definitely out of tough,” said Marta Gates-Jones.

Protesters brought their message to Annapolis.

“If you’re for jobs, you can’t be for a big tax on people going to their jobs,” said Robin Ficker.

And recent polls show these folks aren’t alone. A survey by AAA Mid-Atlantic found a whopping 76 percent of Marylanders oppose an increase in the gas tax. Under the governor’s plan, the state six percent gas tax would be phased in to the price per gallon, a two percent increase for the next three years.

“It’s just too much right now. The economy’s too fragile,” said Selena Griffin.

That appears to be sentiment shared by many lawmakers in Annapolis reluctant to support the increase.

Senate President Mike Miller has said he thinks the bill is unlikely tp pass this session, even though gas tax opponents agree road improvements are important.

“We need to raise money. I’m not sure this is the right way to do it,” said Larry Frederickson.

Maryland’s current gas tax of 23.5 cents per gallon was set back in 1992.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • jeff

    omalley is a clown. he has done nothing for the state of maryland

    • mr.right

      repeat after me class; Hay Hay hi ho O’Malley’s Got to go!!

    • rob

      yet people still voted him in. stupid

  • Tom

    You need funding for infrastructure projects…How about instead of raising gas taxes or any other taxes you cut the salaries of government workers or cease some of the pointless programs/committees the state has. Why is it that when the state runs out of money the governments answer is to tax the people more..the people who are struggling every day, while government workers are driving their expensive cars and living in their lavish houses. I work 6 days a week just to afford gas to drive to work and you want to tax us more.

    • chearts77


  • B___S

    At the current tax rate of about 25 cents a gallon there was enough money to fund most of Maryland with the exception of the roads. They actually had enough money to fix the roads all along. They decided to spent the money on everything else but the roads. They won’t say exactly how much money was derailed into other projects. I am thinking it was a lot of money that got spent funding other projects.
    I am against a tax increase on gasoline because at the current rate there is enough money to fix all the roads, if they would just spend the money on the roads.
    The real problem here is bad leadership in the government, they don’t want to stop spending, just tax and spend some more.

    • meeeeeeeeeeeeee

      Would you be our governor??? You can’t do half as bad as Omalley is. You could do nothing and do a better job he is that bad. Using infrastructure $$ for his pathetic fiscal policies,

    • wheres common sense when you need it

      80 billion dollars last year alone! The programs that were funded by all the money robbed from the transportation fund should be forced to return the money. An audit of the transportation fund should be done for the past ten years. This would show just how much this government raids the funding and diverts the money into programs that don’t create anything! F O’Malley and all those in Annapolis! They are all a bunch of two faced crooks!

  • chearts77

    OweMalley, you raised all the tolls for roads and bridges. With gas prices skyrocketing out of control, you want to add a tax on top of it for the same reason you raised the tolls? No one is going to be able to drive on these roads and bridges you claim to want to repair because no one will be able to afford it…who elects these idiots?

  • smash44

    Please all you liberal dolts that elected this fool and his worthless puppets in Annapolis call your legislators and politicians and ask them HOW MUCH THEY PAY TO DRIVE TO WORK EVERYDAY? It’s a BIG FAT ZERO because these sucks, cheats and criminals get a car allowance close to $200 A FU*KING DAY when is session.

  • robert jackson

    Its amazing how an idiot who doesnt even pay for gas , everything he uses on a daily basis is paid for, and he has the dumb nerve to put the sqeeze on working class people, its ridiculous…a wolf in sheeps clothing nothing less…

  • meeeeeeeeeeeeee

    This is to make up the empty I200 disaster. It will take over 100 years to pay off the debt on the I200. Some guy on the radio said the other day…I use it 3 times a month and his boss pays for it. The I200 was the DUMBEST idea ever concocted next to putting a plastic bag over your own head.

  • SpecialEd

    Raising taxes makes people re-evaluate whether they want to keep living in MD and move to another state with lower costs of living. If you lose your taxpayers, then you will have to raise your taxes again to compensate. Annapolis needs to work on increasing the tax base, not increasing the taxes. I learned that lesson when I was 9 years old and playing Sim City on the computers at school. If a 9-year old can figure it out, why can’t our government.

    • DH

      I agree with you. I live 5 minutes from the Deleware state line. I CROSS THAT LINE FOR…ANYTHING I NEED THAT MD REQUIRES A TAX ON…INCLUDING THE HIGH PRICE OF GAS !!!!!!!

  • happy1

    Owe’Malley “there is a tax for that”

  • 1-0-3-0- WITHERSPOON


  • Ed Reed 20

    It’s easy for O’Malley to add 6% tax to gas since HE DOESN’T HAVE TO PAY FOR ANY GAS. He gets driven around by a Maryland State Trooper in a private car. If you’re looking for someone to blame then blame the idiots THAT VOTED HIM IN OFFICE. He ran Baltimore City into the ground with a corrupt City Council and now he’s running the entire state of Maryland into the ground. And I’m sure the inner city “democrats” will vote him in again for another term specifically because he’s a democrat and not related to any of his policies. Totally embarrassing…

    • Half-pint

      Here is the problem people; you should have never voted him to a second term in the first place. What does he care – knowing he can’t be re-elected to a third term, he is going to do as much damage to us and this state as he possibly can. So glad I did not vote for him.

  • adraine


  • Mike

    O’Malley is a piece of garbage. If you live close enough to PA, DEL, WV or Virginia start buying your gas there and send this IDIOT a message he’ll never forget. WORTHLESS!!!!!

    • DH

      I already cross the DEL. state line. I live 5 minutes from it. And do all of my taxable shopping there. And right on the other side of the line is a gas station. Believe me. I will be going there for gas as well from now on.

  • BiteMe

    The gas tax will be used for the racing downtown as in repairing the streets. Have we forgotten they had to spend $10.000.000 last year.what a waste. or have we forgotten they build new highways that have toll. what a waste of our taxes

  • BiteMe

    Oh yea I forgot to mention the free bus service for downtown riders

  • RWS

    So when is the last time O’malley paid for the gas in his SUV motorcade, or payed a BGE bill in his state owned home, or paid for food at the grocery store?

  • Shannon

    Everything about Owe Malley comes out of our pockets. The tax payers of MD continue to pay his way and he continues to spend! We pay his salary and then pay for his gas…. I work for a salary and I have to pay my expenses out of that money. Politicians should have to pay their way as well.

  • Truth Telling

    This madman and lunatic MUST be stopped whatever it takes. I am believing at this point that he is now mentally ill and needs a thorough psychiatric examination. Seriously, I do. Will someone in the state’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene PLEASE intercede here and DO something with this idiot. He has classic symptoms of MI including a detachment from reality, delusions of grandeur, and a severely narcissistic personality disorder. I suspect he may have Pervasive Developmental Disorder also that was not properly diagnosed when he was a child.

  • Smarty Pants

    Impeach him! He only cares about being president. He doesnt care about the state at all! Getting him impeached will ruin any chance he has at getting to the white house. Thus saving the US from further collapse.

  • Card

    I am Embarrassed to Live in this State!!!

  • tonyg1147

    I am more than embarrassed to live here. This is the closest you can come to a third world dictatorship. Maryland already has one of the highest tax rates on gasoline. This failure in Annapolis has raised every tax and fee that he can think of and they actually re-elected him. While Mayor of Baltimore he had 7 different police chiefs in 8 years. What does that say about his judgement?

  • Card

    Remember WHY this state will NEVER ever Elect another Republican…

    A Democrat has to Win 3 “Areas” to Win the Entire State..

    Baltimore City
    Montgomery county
    PG County

    Anyone wish to Hazard a Guess why??
    Come on it’s as simple as BLACK and White…LOL

  • ben

    WHY NOT RAISE THE LIQOUR TAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • adam

      already been done 3% increase every year for the next 3 years so your looking at close to 15% sales tax on that 6 pack for the beloved ravens game that our lovely tax dollars went to build that new stadium for the last time there was a 2 term democrat in Annapolis. Hey but ya’ll feel free to come to Ocean City this summer and spend the 4 bucks at the bridge ontop of the 6 buck gas it will end up being. got to love this state

  • the mechanic

    How about raising our dic’s ?

  • Alta

    instead of giving all the government pay rasies over and over again and paying the Judges so much money why not cut into them instead of the people they are killing.. pretty soon people wont have the money to go to work so people will have to get unemployment and welfare!

    • peter o neil

      Alta. You are a fools fool.

      • meeeeeeeeeeeeee

        Peter, the toilets are not for drinking… the government is living outside of its means… revenue must surpass expense or did BET not teach that on their music videos? Ill put it in terms you can understand.. If I have an Oz of crack and paid $1000 and sell it at $800… I am a bad business man. Don’t justify that impudent pricks policies because you dont understand math… do the world a favor and drink bleach.

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