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Proposed Gas Tax Fuels Debate

Gas station owners and businesses testified against O'Malley's proposed gas tax in Annapolis on Wednesday.

Gas station operators and other business owners voiced their opinions to the Maryland General Assembly on Wednesday during more than three hours of testimony on Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed 6 percent sales tax on gasoline.

According to The Washington Post Local,  Maryland tea party groups brought 50 people outside of the State House as O’Malley testified to the House and Senate Committees on his proposed gas tax.

The new tax would be phased in and would help pay for road and transit work throughout the state.

Among those testifying was a gas station owner who had just charged $35,000 on a credit card to a gas company to fill his underground tanks, said Del. Cathy Vitale (R-Severna Park).

"He has 30 days to pay that," Vitale said, adding that there are additional taxes and credit card fees to also take into account.

With the price of fuel now as high as $4 a gallon, one consumer who commutes to Frederick said in an email to Vitale that she can't fill up her vehicle's gas tank at one time because the pumps are set up to stop at $70 to $90. The motorist said she now has to pump twice during one stop or return sooner to a station for more, Vitale said.

The added gas tax, earmarked for improving infrastructure, doesn't make sense to Vitale who said the trickle-down effect could impact services to the most vulnerable of the population—seniors and those in need of help in the community.

Vitale said the increase could endanger programs with local transportation needs, such as the county Department of Aging buses, volunteer programs like Partners In Care, Meals-on-Wheels and the Providence Center who transports clients to work.

"This increase could cut or possibly eliminate these services," she said.

Pointing to the realities of mass transit use in Maryland, Vitale said only 8.6 percent of the population in Maryland uses it.

"Today's culture doesn't support mass transit," Vitale said. "Busy families can't afford the luxury of time standing at a bus stop."

Nor do they trust its reliability, she added.

For consumers, the cost of driving continues to rise in Maryland with the prices at the pump climbing more than 40 cents per gallon since January, reported Washington Post Local on Wednesday.

What do you think about the gas tax for improving the state's infrastructure? Vote in our and leave a comment below.

Jim Davis March 19, 2012 at 04:44 PM
That seems to put our professional politicians running the show some where below the old East European Bloc and above Iraq and Afghanistan. We really have to replace everyone of them.
Carol B March 19, 2012 at 05:08 PM
DioDingo, my point was that, rather than working within the amount of money they have in their budget, O'Malley and Company have been spending well beyond their means, and sticking their hands back into our pockets to make up for their profligacy. That's akin to a spoiled rich brat who spends his money on everything but what it's supposed to cover, and goes back to his rich auntie for more. As long as she keeps giving him money, he keeps spending--but when she says, "That's it! I'm through funding your selfishness and immaturity," and cuts him off, he has to learn to be responsible about the money he has. O'Malley thinks he can keep spending, because we haven't told him he can't keep taxing. Like the kid who has no concern for his aunt's budget, he thinks our money grows on trees. Someone needs to tell him the money trees are dying.
DioDingo March 19, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Yes, we all agree that we have been spending too much. What services can be cut to bring our spending back under control. We all know that healthcare is out of control. We know that for 20 years we have been robbing from the pension funds to cover other funds. Robbing from any fund that had a surplus to cover some fund that has a short fall. (Robbing=Borrowing) What can we now cut that is currently over funded? We all want good roads, qualified teachers, police, cleaner water, cleaner skies, and so on. Do we need to give money to poor people? Do we need to help the elderly? Head start programs have shown to be great for society, can we afford them? Maybe the roads need to be covered with snow/ice for a few days. The Port of Baltimore/BWI could stand to have less coming in. Mass transit, which has been growing in ridership can wait another few years to reach more riders. We never like when the other guy is spending our money on stuff we don't think we need. Figure out what too cut and push for reasonable responsible cuts, not just whine about how you don't like it. We know, we all want to keep our own money. We also want to be safe and live in a good place. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
Jim Davis March 19, 2012 at 09:49 PM
There is a plan to actually cut back and save money. But don't worry - the entrenched democrats won't let it happen. http://marylandhousegop.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/appendix-page-a-1.pdf http://marylandhousegop.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/appendix-page-a-2.pdf http://marylandhousegop.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/appendix-page-a-3.pdf http://marylandhousegop.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/appendix-page-a-4.pdf
Amy Leahy March 19, 2012 at 10:43 PM
David Darden, to tag on your comments....has anyone noticed the SIDEWALKS being built in odd places along Ritchie Highway???? Talk about a freakin' waste of our money....NO ONE walks along Ritchie Highway and they are spending our money building sidewalks to nowhere...like the Led Zeppelin song about the staircase to heaven.

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