WAMU 88.5 : News

Maryland Assembly Prefers Gas Tax To Sales Tax

Play associated audio
Both Republicans and Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly say a gas tax would be more palatable than a sales tax.
Carolynn Primeau: http://www.flickr.com/photos/charlietakesphotos/29823081/
Both Republicans and Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly say a gas tax would be more palatable than a sales tax.

Day one of the Maryland General Assembly's yearly session started with a curveball, as governor Martin O'Malley talked about the possibility of raising the state sales tax. O'Malley said he'd rather raise the sales tax one penny to pay for transportation projects than ask lawmakers for hikes in the gas and flush taxes. The sales tax did go up a penny during his first year in office, but just because O'Malley wants the same this time around doesn't mean he will ask for it.

"I'm saying it's another idea," says O'Malley. "If the legislature doesn't like the things that are proposed, I think that we should remember that no one in our state lost a job or lost a home or lost a business because of an additional penny on the sales tax."

Fellow Democrat, senate president Mike Miller, called it a "non-starter." Republicans, including senator E.J. Pipken were even more harsh.

"To ask for an increase in the sales tax is just off the charts," says Pipken. "I've said it before... I've just wonder what universe this governor is living in."

Leaders in both chambers said raising the gas tax is more palatable to their members, with house speaker Mike Busch saying the county executives in the state's larger jurisdictions need to voice their support.  Rushern Baker of Prince George's County was glad to do so.

"We've got the most undeveloped Metro sites in Prince George's County, 15 of them," says Baker. "With the dollars from the gas tax, we can use that not only to fix our roads but also expand the infrastructure around that.  That will create jobs not just for Prince George's County and for the state of Maryland."

Baker's county will play a central role in two other major issues during the session: whether to expand gaming by adding a sixth casino license for a facility in Prince George's county and same-sex marriage, as it was the Prince George's delegation in the house that stopped a bill legalizing it last year.

WAMU 88.5

The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.

WAMU 88.5

Will Montgomery County Go "Bottoms Up" On Liquor Laws?

Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.

WAMU 88.5

Exelon's Chief Strategy Officer On Its Proposed Takeover Of Pepco

Kojo chats with Exelon's chief strategy officer about the company's vision for electric service in the Washington region, and its argument for why its acquisition of Pepco is in the best interest of customers.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.