March 21, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Proposals to increase the gas tax in Maryland appear to be gaining steam. The House of Representatives is debating legislation this week that could increase the tax by nearly four cents a gallon by this summer.
Tax policy analyst Carl Davis is with the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonprofit public interest research group. He said the tax increases are needed for critical transportation improvements to ease traffic congestion.
“They’re trying to pay for a transportation system in 2013 with a gas tax that we set in the early ’90s. There’s no way to make that work,” he said.
Critics of the legislation are trying to rally public support to stop it. On its website, www.stopthegastax.org, the Maryland Republican Party estimates the tax hike will cost Maryland families an extra $250 a year and lead to job losses and other cost increases for consumers.
Davis says a gas tax increase is overdue.
“It has been over two decades since the last time the gas tax went up in Maryland, and the fact is inflation has decimated the gas tax over these last two decades.”
A House vote is expected today or Friday. If the House passes the tax increase this week, the Senate will still need to act before the session ends in April.
The legislation is available at http://1.usa.gov.