Maryland House Moves Gas Tax Forward, Caps Yearly Increases | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland House Moves Gas Tax Forward, Caps Yearly Increases

Play associated audio
House lawmakers gave their approval to the gas tax, after hearing several proposed amendments.
Matt Bush
House lawmakers gave their approval to the gas tax, after hearing several proposed amendments.

The Maryland House of Delegates has advanced a bill that raises taxes on gasoline to pay for new mass transit projects.

Delegates rejected eight amendments to the bill, while accepting three. One that got the thumbs up would cap any yearly per-gallon gas tax hike at 8 percent. The bill calls for that tax to rise annually with the rate of inflation, drawing the ire of Republicans like Kathy Szeliga of Baltimore and Harford Counties, who called this increase a first for the state.

"This would be the eternal tax that would go up every year," Szeliga says. "Because property taxes have gone down because assessments have gone down."

Democratic House leader Kumar Barve of Montgomery County responded that annual inflation jump mirrors the annual rise in construction and maintenance costs.

"The price will keep pace with the rate of inflation, just as the cost of asphalt does," Barve says. "Just as the cost of concrete would."

Gov. Martin O'Malley's initial proposal actually cut the per-gallon tax rate while aggressively phasing a sales tax on the wholesale price of gas. A House committee slowed that sales tax introduction, offsetting the drop in revenue with the per-gallon tax hike.

Supporters say new money is needed to build mass transit projects like the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway in the D.C. suburbs.

NPR

An Outsider In Buenos Aires Goes Incognito, For Love Of Tango

Carolina de Robertis' new novel God of Tango centers on a 17-year-old widow, recently arrived from Italy with little besides a violin. It's Argentina, 1913 — and a magical new music fills the barrios.
NPR

Matt Stonie Downs 62 Hot Dogs For Coney Island Title

The new champion came in second last year in the annual contest put on by Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, besting eight-time champ Joey "Jaws" Chestnut by 2 dogs.
NPR

A Reopened Embassy In Havana Could Be A Boon For U.S. Businesses

When the U.S. reopens its embassy in Havana, it will increase its staff. That should mean more help for American businesses hoping to gain a foothold on the Communist island.
NPR

Pilot In Solar-Powered Plane Sets Aviation Record

André Borschberg, flying Solar Impulse 2, set a new record of 120 hours in the cockpit on a journey from Japan to Hawaii.

Leave a Comment

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