POLL: Are You For or Against the Gas Tax?

Do you agree with a proposed six percent sales tax on gasoline to fund improvements on the state's roads, bridges and highways?

Gov. Martin O'Malley is proposing to phase in a six percent gas tax increase to pay for road and transit work throughout the state.

For consumers, the cost of driving continues to rise in Maryland with the prices at the pump climbing more than 40 cents per gallon, reported Washington Post Local on Wednesday.

Gas station owners were among other businesses who brought their opinions to the legislature on Wednesday with more than three hours of testimony before the House and Senate.

What do you think about the gas tax for improving the state's infrastructure? Vote in our poll and leave a comment below.

Joshua Michael March 16, 2012 at 06:02 AM
They should referendum tax and fee increases. Hard to vote out people that raise taxes because we are a one party state for the most part. One party states lead to a lack of accountability on both sides of the aisle.
Michael Lewandowski March 16, 2012 at 08:56 AM
I agree. How about term limits to force a turn-over or even force lame duck members to actually do something instead of worry about retaining their position.
Joshua Michael March 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM
There in lies the problem: to reform politicians you need politicians to vote in favor of changes that wouldn't benefit them. Term limits also aren't a solve all because our gov has a term limit but still proposes massive tax increases almost across the board. In a perfect world state government would save money when Econ is up and spend that when Econ was down to make up for revenue decreasing, instead they spend all the money when Econ is up, and then when revenue is down they raise taxes. Then when Econ is up they keep taxes high and cycle repeats as taxes goes up and up over several decades until it's unsustainable or someone cuts taxes. This holds true though only for state gobs with balanced budget amendments.
Linda Zahn March 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM
I am opposed. Very often the funds set aside for highway improvements are "borrowed" for other budgetary issues. In this economy this is an additional burden for residents and businesses alike.
Rodolfo Strawberry March 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM
This is a political move by the gov to take the focus away from all the other tax increases. He will feign disappointment but secretly smile that everything else passed. He knows this increase will not pass, he is playing us and the media.
Nick Z. March 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Referemdum on taxes and fees? You can see how well that goes over in California. Increases in services but no increases in ways to pay = DEBT.
Michael Guynn March 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I am opposed, in fact I think we should make our voice count during elections and get rid of these self serving politicians.
Dr. Dave March 16, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I think Rodolfo may have hit the nail on the head. This was the big distraction away from all the other wallet assaults by Governor Owe-Malley. We only needed more tax revenue to balance the budget because we keep increasing spending. We've got to draw the line - get rid of some state employees, stop spending as much on programs we can't afford, even the ones we'd like to be able to afford. We just can't afford them anymore! Stop spending all my money as if it were yours!
Stan Benjamin March 16, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I'm sorry but OweMalley and OweBama need to figure out that we're not made of money and they can't tax us back to prosperity. If then need to fix budget shortfalls cuts in social services need to be made and healthy recipients of financial support need to be put to work to earn their keep. Those of us that work hard for a living cannot support the lazy who think they deserve a hand out.
Keith Madsen March 16, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Thank you for posting the photo of my gas station sign. I am a Severna Park resident and have been actively opposing this tax increase. I have collected 3500 petition signatures . My trade association collected more than 35,000 signatures which were delivered to the legislature on Wednesday. Only 30 percent of the current tax of 23.5 cents actually is spent on our roads . The other 70 percent goes to BWI airport, the Port of Baltimore and two money losing subway systems. If the current gas taxes went to our roads we would already have the finest highway system in the nation and no need for a tax increase. Please directly. contact your legislators ASAP. Keith Madsen
Leslie Hunt March 16, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Your welcome Keith and check back when you can as readers may have questions for you- thanks.
Rusty Gowland March 16, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Nick is right. If you want road and bridge work, you have to pay for it. If you drive, then chances are you benefit from the roadwork and taxing gas is a pretty good way of applying the tax on folks that benefit from it. We should have more taxes like it - that align burden with benefit. Moving away from income tax and toward consumption tax is smart.
Francis Boyle March 16, 2012 at 02:17 PM
How could we just give the Judges in our courts a 3% raise and the same week O'Malley comes out in support of this.. our politicians are out of touch and self serving.
DioDingo March 16, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Yes on consumption tax!
DioDingo March 16, 2012 at 02:45 PM
You mentioned two subways....I know that baltimore has one, what other subway are you referring to? Does BWI and the port not support themselves fairly well? If they don't, then you could make the argument that they both bring good and services a boost here in MD. MD has some great roads compared to most of the country. I would like to see some more then 30% going to roads but we need both ports for the health of MD. I know i heard Wednesday or Thursday morning that mass transit ridership is up over the last few years so we to keep funding a cleaner safer transport. While the gas tax hasn't been increased since '92, when all other costs have risen.
Jackie March 16, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Thank you Keith. You are soooo right. What we think we are paying for through our tax $ is never the real picture. And who is to say that this additional 6% won't end up paying for something else?? They other thing that really get me going is during the campaigning for governor, I can't tell you how many times I saw commercials with clueless people complaining about how Erlich was all about raising taxes/fees.....well now we know that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence!!
DioDingo March 16, 2012 at 03:13 PM
No one wants to pay more, but if the tax hasn't been increased since '92 when all the other costs have risen then it should have been increased a couple times since then. If the roads money is being "borrowed" for other uses then we need to evaluate those other uses. When the economy is good we all want more services or less taxes. Since the state can't have a surplus of funds, or not much, what should we do? Can all agree that the state should fill a trillion dollar slush fund for a bad economy, when growth in the state is less then 1.5% we can tap it in billion dollar increments per year.Then when things are bad we don't have to worry about raising taxes and could lower them. Taxes rise, politicians tell us all what we want to hear. Instead of whining about how we can't take anymore taxes lets talk about what services you are willing to lose to save the state money. Not what you think others should lose, but what "I" am willing to give up. The weakest and poorest already know they are at the whim of the masses and they will be cut.
Mr. P March 16, 2012 at 03:22 PM
If the "tax and spend" politicians would stop robbing some fund categories and using that money to fund other ones, the budget would be in much better shape. They need to cut wasteful spending or we need to clean house during the next Maryland election.
Richard Hertz March 16, 2012 at 04:13 PM
these libs in MD are so predictable. the only solution to any problem is to raise taxes and increase spending. take a look at the states that don't have a state income tax. on the whole they DO NOT make up for it by raising other taxes. those states somehow manage to survive while taking substantially less money from their residents. what benefits are we getting for our high level of taxation in MD compared to the no-state-income-tax states [WA, TX, TN, NV, NH, SD, FL, WY, AK]? the citizens of those states seem just as happy (actually, financially speaking, much happier) as MD residents. This can't continue. The redistribution of wealth is going to kill this state (along with all the other high-tax states). Take a look at the charts in the annual reports seen here: http://cfo.dc.gov/cfo/cwp/view,a,1324,q,612643.asp Check out where MD ranks for middle class and upper middle class families, and compare it to the states with no income taxes. Be sure to look at the right hand columns for overall tax burdens.
Nancy Lee Hall March 16, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Does it really take a brain surgeon to figure out whether or not we would like to givethe rest of our money away???????????? Idiots!!!!!!!
JH March 16, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Keep in mind that the Gov and other far left liberals tell me that I am wrong to think of the money in my savings account as "my" money. They see if as their money and they will tell me how much I can keep.
Desiree Melnychenko March 16, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Opposed! Cut spending. No money raised through taxes ever goes to the issue. It goes to overhead and other waste!
Cindy March 16, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Why is it when we were a little "comfortable" in our lives none of the stuff was happening. Suddenly Mr. O'Liarlly gets in office and raises everything. But for the most part he likes to call them "fees". So let's see in the last 5 years our property value is only worth 1/2 of what it was. But property taxes increased. Our food prices rose over 14%, and on and on. But hey as a person on a fixed income I say go ahead and raise those gas taxes, the increase in tolls has limited folks from going anywhere anyway. So when gas taxes are raised we won't be able to afford to go to the grocery store where we spend so much money. I guess we will all have to crawl in a corner of our worthless homes and l die.
Don Conrad March 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM
I hope everyone who voted for O'Malley is happy with their choice . This Gov. is out to bankrupt every citizen in this state. All we heard from this guy before the election was him calling out Bob Ehrlich for raising taxes and fees. Seems like all O'Malley has done or wants to do is raise taxes and fees. Well at least I have satisfaction knowing I voted for Ehrlich and I would imagine the 91% of this poll who are against the gas tax wish they did too.
michael mcardle March 18, 2012 at 04:05 PM
One needs only to look at the big picture here - casino enabling referendums, increases to the gas tax, more tax increases contemplated - to fully understand the degree to which we are paying the price for one party politics in Prince George's County, as well as in Maryland. I served as Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor for Higher Education in Maryland during the Ehrlich Administration following the tuition controversy (2004-2006). Governor Ehrlich braved the headwinds associated with supporting cost containment programs in higher education, and when I arrived, the controversy was in full cry as a result of the courage of his convictions meeting the highly partisan, as well as institutional higher education community opposition. We already knew what the outcome would be - the lesson is that the average citizen tends to oppose tax increases in general, until it comes time to manage cost reductions and containment in programs they like or have come to rely on such as state aid to higher ed. We need to take this fight to the average citizen, and make SURE they understand there has been NO serious cost containment for the state programs funded by the gas tax, and THAT should be the approach here, NOT MORE TAXES.


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