Maryland Could Raise Gas Tax for First Time in 20 Years

Additional revenue could fund state transportation projects.


While gas prices have been lower since Hurricane Sandy, a Blue Ribbon Commission has recommended increasing taxes on gas to help raise $800 million in annual funding for the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund, according to a recent WTOP story.

Each gallon of gasoline carries a $0.235 state tax, a figure that has been level since 1992, but with the transportation fund being raided to help balance the state's budget, lawmakers may consider raising it during the 2013 General Assembly, according to the report.

Gus Bauman, who chaired the commission that recommended the increased tax (in addition to upping roads tolls and fares, fees to trains and busses, as well as vehicle registration licensing and titling) told WTOP: "I'm absolutely convinced that people would be willing to pay another nickel as long as they know it will go to pay to fix this road in this county."

WTOP also interviewed AAA Mid-Atlantic's Lon Anderson, who predicted the tax would encourage drivers to "fill up in Virginia."

It is unclear how much a potential gas tax increase would actually raise prices at the pump.

Bob W December 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM
A change we can belive in.Too much spending and to many taxes.No accountability for oversight.Balance your budget with spending cuts.O Malley is the worst elected offical in Maryland history.And he wants to run for president?
Bclass December 27, 2012 at 01:54 PM
If you recall, the alcohol tax was raised on the premise that the money would go to improve services for those with disabilities. Having spent the past 18 years in special ed, and knowing how little concern the "leaders" of Maryland have for those with special needs, I knew that was flat out lie. Which, of course, it was. Some of the money went to build turf fields and improve weight rooms at schools in the districts of those who voted for the tax increase. Not exactly an improvements for those with disabilities. And, I would like to point out, Maryland's spending for the disabled has actually GONE DOWN under O'Malley's watch. We now rank 48th in the country, down from 43rd in 2009. My point is, this administration will raise whatever tax they want, lie about it, and do what they want with it. I see no different outcome with an increase in the gas tax, another regressive tax, which O'Malley has made his living on.
Jeff Hawkins December 27, 2012 at 02:04 PM
A Blue Ribbon Commision recommended this? I'm thinking maybe a Pabst Blue Ribbon or two were involved.
leonard raskin December 27, 2012 at 02:31 PM
While I believe in paying for "goods" received, I think a flat tax (per gallon) is not the equitable way to proceed. Why should I pay a "gallon" tax when an owner of an electric or natural gas automobile does not pay the same tax? After all they use our highways just as much as the person driving a 15 mpg or 60 mpg vehicle. Also is it fair for a person using more fuel to pay more than one who uses less going on the same roads? There has to be a fairer way to resolve this situation-why not a Maryland only gps that records yours mileage driven on Maryland roads?
Clifton B December 27, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Maryland is going to raise taxes? Absolutely shocking. Seriously though, we pay some of the highest taxes in the country, lay off already. I know it's a foreign concept for democrats, but try cutting spending. The tax and spend mantra is played out.
Native December 27, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Try making the journey across the river to Virginia where gas typically costs about twenty cents less per gallon than Maryland.
Dave December 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Right after Owe'Malley took office, he spent 110 million on a new basketball gym for coppin state university. How that benefits the rest of the state is a mystery. If we had that money back, we might not need a gas tax at all? Maybe even a tax break? Just wondering.
Sanchez December 27, 2012 at 03:10 PM
The tax and fee increase the state has imposed since O'Malley became Governor: Maryland Tax and Fee Increases Since 2007 Prior to the May 2012 Special Session-2012 2012 Bay Restoration "Flush Tax" - Doubles fee $53 million 2011 2011 Alcoholic beverages - sales tax increase 6% to 9%- $84.8 million 2011 Hospital assessment - $390 million 2011 Vehicle titling tax - $52.4 million 2011 Vehicle dealer processing charge - $5.3 million 2011 Vanity plate fee - $25 to $50 $2.5 million 2011 Birth certificate fee - $12 to $24- $4 million 2011 Toll increases MDTA $90 million 2009 2009 Speed monitoring system $11.6 million 2008 2008 Millionaire's tax - top marginal rate 5.5% to 6.25% $154.6 million 2007 2007 special session Income tax rates - new marginal rates ranging from 4.75% to 5.5% $191.3 million 2007 special session State corporate income tax - 7% to 8.25% $118.6 million 2007 special Computer services tax 5 SB-2 N/A 2007 special session Sales tax - 5% to 6% $603.4 million 2007 special session Tobacco tax - $1 to $2 per pack cigarettes $133 million 2007 special session Vehicle titling tax - $23 to $50 $23 million 2007 special session Vehicle excise tax increase 2011 $36.9 million 2007 special session Electronic bingo / tip jar tax - 20% admissions/amusement tax $8 million 2007 special session Real property transfer tax $14.1 million 2007 Captive Real Estate Investment Trusts $10 million Its JUST another nickel! Its JUST another penny!
Sanchez December 27, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Maryland surplus spurs debate: Did lawmakers need to raise taxes? By Aaron C. Davis,September 01, 2012 Three months after Maryland lawmakers raised taxes on the wealthy, saying the money was urgently needed for classrooms, surging revenue from other areas has left the state with a surplus, prompting a fight about whether the tax increase was needed at all. Maryland ended its budget year with over a half-billion dollars in the bank — or more than twice as much as expected, Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) announced late last week. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-09-01/local/35496205_1_tax-increases-income-tax-hike-budget-gap
Sanchez December 27, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Do you really want your travels to be tracked by government GPS with access to that info available to others who may use the info for nefarious purposes? Do you want some to know where you are at any given time of day? Really?
Native December 27, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Give it up people, it's a lost cause. The tax & spend liberals in this state know that they will continue to be elected because they are santa clause to baltimore city, montgomery, & prince georges counties. The adults in the rest of the state are irrelevant anymore.
Matt Wilson December 27, 2012 at 03:19 PM
The last time I made that journey to Virginia I got caught in the middle of a horrible traffic jam as soon as I crossed the river. No thanks.
Matt Wilson December 27, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Oregon is actually talking about doing just that, Leonard, and there are lots of problems associated with it. One problem is all the drivers from out of state just passing through. Paying a gas tax at the pump recaptures at least some of the cost of wear and tear that they cause. Another concern is the privacy problem that Sanchez mentioned.
Dave December 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Your comment is dead on except people in those areas don't celebrate Christmas anyway.
Ryan Admiresmithjohnshontouchants December 27, 2012 at 03:41 PM
legalize the weed
Frank December 27, 2012 at 03:48 PM
JoeBlob is worried that his trips to the peep show booths on US 1 will show on his GPS records.
A Taxpayer December 27, 2012 at 03:59 PM
The politicians in Montgomery County want a higher gas tax to reward the developers for their support in getting them elected. Like OMalley, road and bridge repairs are not the priority, the trolley line is the priority because that is what the developers expect from the politicians.
Jeff Hawkins December 27, 2012 at 04:03 PM
For those that seem to "always" support tax increases of any kind, of any amount, on anybody. I'm wondering can there "ever" be a limit on what and how much we are taxed? Or is it simply because my team came up with it.....I have to support it? Is there "ever" a possiblity of taxing the folks too much? Is there? Just curious....
David Maier December 27, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Nice to see all the tax increases listed - now how about listing the raids on the various trust funds over the years. If they didn't raid the Transportation TRUST Fund over the years the money would be there for the project needed now. Why should I believe that increasing the gas tax would mean the money would actually go to fund transportation projects. Based on the multiple funds raided, we can TRUST a Trust Fund to be used fully as designated. It must be great to be a "Banker" who can redirect money "BY LAW" at will. Throw them all out and let's start over - it is the only message understood by all politicans.
Bryan P. Sears December 27, 2012 at 04:03 PM
A comment by user "Frank" was deleted because it violated Patch terms of use prohibiting posts that are false, misleading or defamatory. You can familiarize yourself with the terms here: http://bethesda.patch.com/terms
Jeff Hawkins December 27, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Well said David...
Native December 27, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I'm confused here... The post above was not from me "Native." I guess there are two of us. Anyway -- I live in Bethesda and try to buy my gas when I'm over in Virginia where it's cheaper. It sounds like it'll be more worth my while in the future. An old friend from Bethesda who moved to Washington State several years ago told me recently, "Maryland is becoming a mean little overtaxed police state." I think there was a lot of truth in his appraisal of what's happening to his former home.
amarynth December 27, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Dave, what on Earth are you talking about? Why wouldn't people in Baltimore City and Montgomery and PG counties celebrate Christmas?
Native December 28, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Hello Native from Bethesda! Sounds like you & I think alike! I'm Native from Westminster.
BigDan December 29, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Wow. Politicians need to wake up. $3 and more gas is NOT cheap. They need to give up their ideas on "mass transportation". I will not take any form of public transportation because it's often used by worthless street thrugs who have nothing better to do than ride the rails or bus lines and mug people. Anyone see that news story where 8 teens brutally beat up some poor guy and shoved him under a bus stop bench and people didn't call for help because they didn't know he was injured (they thought he was just some homeless guy sleeping under the bench). THAT kinda garbage is why I won't ride public transportation. Trolley lines, purple lines, etc are all just pipe dreams. How about raising the alcohol tax? That hasn't been touched in half a century or longer! You had no problems raising the tobacco tax in the name of public health...why not booze as well? Charge a extra dollar per six pack, or a extra dollar per bottle at Redskin and Ravens games. NFL fans alone could fund these politicians pet projects all day long.
Craig January 04, 2013 at 03:03 AM
These projects are a PIPE DREAM. You've been hitting the pipe too hard Wilson. Noooo way they have the money for both. Sorry. Maybe one, or the other, but not both. And you forget that a lot of sucker Dems come from places outside the Beltway. Why should a gas tax, which hits all Marylanders, pay for the 15% in MoCo and PG? How is that "fair"?
Craig January 04, 2013 at 03:05 AM
I don't want to be compared to NY. Yes, NY SUCKS and so does most of the northeast. I hate traveling there.. tolls galore, people with bad attitudes and big-money politicians. I DON'T want to live in NY and I DON't want their policies or gas taxes. THAT IS THE POINT YOU MORON. STOP EXPORTING YOUR POLICIES HERE.
Craig January 04, 2013 at 03:08 AM
The purple line is truly a pipe dream. Well said. We need to turn the pressure on these politicians. We need to organize and get heard, just like the leftists in this state.
Craig January 04, 2013 at 03:10 AM
Be prepared - gas taxes will rise. Just in time for the hyper-inflation of 2013-14. Be prepared. Get a bike now. Invest in gold / silver / platinum. The Fed is printing TRILLIONS while stupid parasites like MoCo ho-hum and complain about not having enough money. We're going to see prices and costs climb across the board. It will be insidious (that means bad) and it will destroy many families. Interest rates will have to rise, bringing about another recession. You've been warned.
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