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Maryland Senate Approves Gas Tax Increase

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The Maryland Senate approved a gas tax that would raise the price of gasoline by about 4 cents in July.
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The Maryland Senate approved a gas tax that would raise the price of gasoline by about 4 cents in July.

The Maryland Senate approved a bill that would hike the per-gallon gas tax and phase in a sales tax on the wholesale price of gasoline in the state. The final vote was 27 to 20.

Money raised by the tax hikes will go to new transportation projects like the Purple Line in the D.C. suburbs. Senate President Mike Miller says it's desperately needed.

"We have the most congested area in the United States," says Miller. "It's more congested than New York City, it's more congested than Los Angeles. This is the capital of the free world."

Gov. Martin O'Malley says the aforementioned projects will create 57,000 new jobs. However, opponents argue the new revenue is too skewed toward mass transit projects in a state where over 90 percent of commuters drive.

"This is not a job creator, says Republican Sen. Ed Reilly. “This is a job shifter. And some neighborhoods will be more adversely impacted than others."

Drivers can expect gas prices to rise about 4 cents per gallon when the hike goes into effect in July.

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