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.


Art Star Ragnar Kjartansson Moves People To Tears, Over And Over

The artist's repeating performance films can bring on a sort of catharsis, and people often cry after seeing a few cycles. "He's a huge deal," says one curator. "He's been ... rocking the art world."

Technology May Rescue Male Baby Chicks From The Grinder

The egg industry may soon eliminate a wasteful — and to some, horrifying — practice: slaughtering male chicks. New technology can identify male embryos in eggs before they enter incubation chambers.

Hillary Clinton Calls On FBI To Release Information On Newly Discovered Emails

Clinton called on the FBI to release information about the newly discovered emails that appear to be related to a review of classified information on the server she used as secretary of state.

A Moment Of Silence For The Black And Brown Talent That Grew On Vine

We'll miss Vine, but not just for its goofy, raw, six-second looped videos. We'll miss the platform for its ability to incubate young black talent.

Leave a Comment

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