Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has finally unveiled his much anticipated plan to raise taxes on gasoline in the state.
The governor first spoke of ending the sales tax exemption for gas during his State of the State address two weeks ago. But today he formally unveiled his proposal, which would phase in the tax hike by two percent for three straight years. The money raised, expected to be in the area of $600 million, would go toward transportation upgrades and new infrastructure projects.
Getting the measure passed will be no easy task, as even some fellow Democrats have attacked O'Malley's plan as too burdensome on working-class families. O'Malley says the current traffic situation is already burdensome.
"We don't have to do this, but if we don't do this as a people, we will all be paying more in terms of traffic congestion, gasoline wasted idling in traffic, time away from families, and time away from work," says O'Malley.
If approved, the tax hike could be delayed under one circumstance: if the price of a gallon of gas jumped 15 percent in one year, then the proposed yearly two-percent hike would be pushed back one year.