Saturday, March 30, 2013

Maryland Legislature Votes To Raise Gas Tax

A transportation bill which increases the gas tax has passed in the Maryland State Senate and will now go to Governor O'Malley for his signature.

The bill will add a 1% sales tax on top of the existing 23.5 cent per gallon gas tax in July.  The bill sets the tax to increase automatically in future years to either 3% in 2016 or to 5% if the federal government does not impose an internet sales tax.  The existing "flat" tax will also now automatically increase with inflation.  The total increase is estimated to reach between 12.1 cents and 20.2 cents per gallon by July 1, 2016.  A family which uses 10 gallons of gas per week will end up paying about an additional $100/year if the full increase goes into effect, representing up to an 86% increase over the current state gas tax.

The bill also includes a $3.50 increase in vehicle registration fees.

Supporters of the bill claim that it is necessary to fund badly needed transportation projects.  The bill was opposed by many lawmakers from rural areas who believed drivers in their areas would be subsidizing transit projects in urban portions of the state which are regularly used by less than 10% of the population.  Some trucking companies complained that the tax would increase the cost of shipping goods. 

Senators Voting FOR the Gas Tax Increase Senators Voting AGAINST the Gas Tax Increase 
Joanne C. Benson (D, Prince George’s County) John C. Astle (D, Anne Arundel County)
Joan Carter Conway (D, Baltimore) David R. Brinkley (R, Frederick County)
Ulysses Currie (D, Prince George’s County) James Brochin (D, Baltimore County County)
Bill Ferguson (D, Baltimore) Richard F. Colburn (R, Dorchester County)
Jennie M. Forehand (D, Montgomery County) James E. DeGrange Sr. (D, Anne Arundel County)
Brian E. Frosh (D, Montgomery County County) Roy P. Dyson (D, St. Mary’s County)
Robert J. Garagiola (D, Montgomery County) George C. Edwards (R, Garrett County)
Lisa A. Gladden (D, Baltimore County) Joseph M. Getty (R, Carroll County)
Verna L. Jones-Rodwell (D, Baltimore County) Barry Glassman (R, Harford County)
Edward J. Kasemeyer (D, Baltimore County) Nancy Jacobs (R, Harford County)
Nancy J. King (D, Montgomery County) J. B. Jennings (R, Baltimore County)
Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D, Montgomery County) Delores G. Kelley (D, Baltimore County)
Roger Manno (D, Montgomery County) Allan H. Kittleman (R, Howard County)
Nathaniel J. McFadden (D, Baltimore County) Katherine A. Klausmeier (D, Baltimore County)
Thomas M. Middleton (D, Charles County) James N. Mathias Jr. (D, Wicomico County)
Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D, Calvert County) E. J. Pipkin (R, Cecil County)
Karen S. Montgomery (D, Montgomery County) Edward R. Reilly (R, Anne Arundel County)
C. Anthony Muse (D, Prince George’s County) Christopher B. Shank (R, Washington County)
Douglas J. J. Peters (D, Prince George’s County) Bryan W. Simonaire (R, Anne Arundel County)
Paul G. Pinsky (D, Prince George’s County) Norman R. Stone Jr. (D, Baltimore County)
Catherine E. Pugh (D, Baltimore County)
Victor R. Ramirez (D, Prince George’s County)
Jamie B. Raskin (D, Montgomery County)
James N. Robey (D, Howard County)
James C. Rosapepe (D, Prindce George’s County)
Ronald N. Young (D, Frederick County)
Robert A. Zirkin (D, Baltimore County County)

Also see how members of the House of Delegates voted.

Additional Coverage:
Baltimore Sun
Washington Post