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Gas Tax Bill Begins Uphill Climb

O'Malley's bill applying the sales tax to gasoline has precedent, faces challenges.

Legislative leaders on Tuesday introduced Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to apply the state’s 6 percent sales tax to gasoline.

Dubbed the “Maryland Transportation Financing and Infrastructure Investment Act of 2012,” the legislation, which , calls for a three-year phase-in of the tax.

The tax “will generate an additional $613 million in revenue to address Maryland’s urgent transportation infrastructure needs and support an estimated 7,500 jobs for Maryland families,” according to a news release from O’Malley’s office. Transportation infrastructure needs include roads, bridges and public transit projects.

The proposal could be a tough sell, O’Malley himself admitted in the State of the State. Reporters appearing on on MarylandReporter.com assessed just how tough it could be. (See the 2:28 mark.)

The Maryland Republican Party has launched an online campaign to “Stop the Gas Tax.”

With support from county governments key to the bill’s passage, The Baltimore Sun reported on Tuesday that “Gov. Martin O'Malley is offering local governments a significant sweetener — more money for local road projects — as part of an effort to secure their support for his proposal to apply the state's 6 percent sales tax to gasoline.”

Tying a gas tax to the sales tax—something that about 15 states already do—has proven successful in raising revenue, while being controversial, Stateline.org reported.

Often, lawmakers feel pressure to stop them, even if the only thing that needs to happen for an increase to go into effect is for elected officials to do nothing at all,” Stateline.org reported.

And a gas tax pegged to sales tax isn’t always enough.

“Last year, in a controversial move, Nebraska lawmakers voted to redirect a portion of the state’s sales tax to transportation starting in 2013,” Stateline.org reported. “In doing so, they were conceding that the gas tax wasn’t bringing in enough money to pay for what they wanted.”

What do you think of O'Malley's gas tax proposal? Weigh in with .

Sara Greene February 15, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Liz, you say "you might be ok with the tax as long as I see a list of the 7500 jobs up front and see if I could apply and actually get one of them." Exactly how far do you think your $10 or whatever an hour job paycheck will go after the following happens. Every product, every service, every business uses gas to accomplish goals. Some businesses will fail, people will get laid-off, and the businesses that absorb the tax will pass the cost on to you in higher costs for everything. So, not only will you be taxed at the pump, this is a multi layer tax in which you will be taxed from every direction possible. It's a failure for everyone across the board. O'Malley isn't capable of managing a household budget much less a state's. Anyone who supports this tax probably got an 'F' in Economics 101 or a career politician like O'Malley, born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Jordan February 16, 2012 at 02:17 PM
There's not going to be any job creation as long as taxes keep sucking up every bit of cash lying around. If you want job growth, increasing taxes is not the answer.
Sean R. Sedam February 16, 2012 at 05:02 PM
In case you missed it, Gov. O'Malley's office noted that the guv received a shout-out on his gas tax legislation in yesterday's New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/opinion/belling-the-no-new-taxes-cat-in-maryland.html?ref=opinion
Jeff Hawkins February 16, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Thanks for the link Sean. This confirms my suspicion that we are doomed..... What's next? An endorsement from Marion Berry?
James Moulden March 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM
I have lived in Montgomery County MD. for 60 years. My family goes back to the 1700s in Rockville. When you smoke you have to buy in VA. If I do not want to pay for a bag I shop out of county or state. I pay more for electric and fuel oil in Montgomery County. Now I will buy my gas in VA. Wonder why so many business and people are moving out of MD. and to VA.

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