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Fueling The Fire: Drivers Unhappy With Gas Hike Proposal

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PatWarrenWebPhoto Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The wheels are in motion for a gas tax hike. Several proposals are popping up in Annapolis.

Pat Warren reports some of them are new.

Some drivers are fuming over the latest attempts to impose a tax increase on gasoline.

“How are we supposed to get to work if you’re taxing us to death?” a driver asked.

Marylanders polled 73 percent against a 10-cent hike proposal. But 94 percent agree that it’s important to maintain the transportation system.

“We’re looking at possibly a sales tax on the gas tax. The governor in the past has proposed a broad sales tax so a number of things are being looked at,” said Senator Rob Garagiola.

One proposal adopts a backdoor approach–a 3 percent tax hike on wholesalers who would then pass the increase on to motorists. That measure would allow the city and the counties to impose their own 5 cents a gallon tax to pay for local roads and buses.

“Sure, it’s something I could live with if the money is used for appropriate purposes, absolutely,” David Yalowitz.

Lawmakers admit a gas tax is hard to pass, let alone please the public. But there’s some sentiment that we should just learn to live with it.

“I think people honestly should stop whining about it and just deal with it,” a driver said.

Of course, this is from a woman tough enough to pump gas in shorts and flip-flops when it’s 20 degrees outside.

Bills could be introduced as early as next week.

Governor O’Malley says he’d prefer raising the state sales tax a penny and earmarking that revenue for transportation.

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