Gas tax will hurt Md.'s economy

Public TransportationConsumer ConfidenceMartin O'MalleyPurple Line (Maryland)Barack ObamaBaltimore Red LineBaltimore County

What a sad time for Marylanders. They are going to be subjected to a regressive gas tax that will have an automatic tax accelerator tied to the Consumer Price Index ("Md. Senate approves increase in gas tax," March 30). It is unfair to the gas station owners who are operating along the borders of our state. They will lose business as people will migrate to pay less at the pump in surrounding states.

The Transportation Trust Fund was created in 1971 to provide funding for a transportation network from the 23.5 cents per gallon tax. Over the years, the fund has been raided by Gov. Martin O'Malley, who diverted over $1 billion earmarked for local governments to improve roads. Those funds will never be repaid.

The gas tax will increase 4 cents this July, increase another 3 percent by July 2015, and 5 percent by July 2016 with an additional excise tax tied to the inflation in the CPI. To further the pain, President Barack Obama wants to levy a federal tax on gasoline up to 4 cents per gallon. This additional cost will also be reflected in any product purchased in Maryland that was brought by a truck.

The higher gas tax will be used to fund three mass transit programs, the Red Line, the Purple Line and the Corridor City transit project. An estimated 91 percent of Marylanders drive, while about 8 percent use mass transit. More funds will be dedicated to those projects than to repair our roads, bridges and tunnels.

Of the additional 25-plus taxes Marylanders have been subjected to by this administration, this one will hurt the most. The automatic tax accelerator will eliminate any action from the legislature which will absolve its responsibility in the future. This absurd increase is unwarranted and will especially hurt middle class drivers and small businesses.

Del. Susan L.M. Aumann, Annapolis

The writer, a Republican, represents Baltimore County in the House of Delegates.

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