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House Passes Gas Tax Increase

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The House of Delegates votes to raise the price of gasoline.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on how much more it could cost.

Maryland residents are fed up over the cost to fill ‘er up.

“I spend like $60 a week,” said Jacob Martinez.

And some are angry that the state wants them to pay more.

“People that sit in Annapolis and throw up a bunch of gas taxes all day long they have no idea, they’ve forgotten what it is trying to make it every day riding up to a pump that’s already $3.65,” said Leroy Scott.

A number of delegates described people who may be hurt by higher gas prices.

“Our senior citizens, our single mothers, our disabled living on fixed incomes and our neighbors who are just now climbing out of the recession,” said Del. Luiz Simmons.

Under the plan, Marylanders would be paying between 13 and 20 cents more a gallon by 2016. It’s a gradual increase that could mean another $19-$100 a year out of drivers’ pockets and into the state to a tune of $4.4 billion over the next six years.

“We’re going to affect a lot of people in this state,” a woman said.

But supporters successfully argued that the transportation improvements this tax is expected to buy make it worth the sacrifice at the pump.

“I would like to speak for the poor people in my district and in my county who are going to have expanded transit,” said Jolene Ivey, Prince George’s County.

The bill passed 76-63.

Members of the House of Delegates took their vote knowing that in poll after poll after poll Marylanders have opposed a gas tax increase.

In a statement issued from his office, Governor O’Malley says he is pleased with the House vote. The bill now goes to the Senate.

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