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October 17, 2011

O'M considering higher gas tax to create jobs

Arguing that tax revenue has not kept up with the needs of Maryland’s infrastructure, Gov. Martin O’Malley said Monday he would consider seeking an increase in the state’s gas tax to jump start work on highway and school projects.

O’Malley made the comments as part of jobs package he began to unveil Monday. Standing with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and Senate President Michael E. Busch, he said the state is seeing an "investment deficit" and in January he will push for "the strongest capital budget we can pass."

On Tuesday business leaders and some county executive are expected to testify at a briefing in Annapolis on public works backlogs in their areas. Maryland's capital budget for this year is $3.1 billion. A little more than half goes toward transportation projects.

The governor declined to say how much larger he thinks the capital budget should be.

A significant hike could also mean more borrowing, which could require an increase to the state's debt ceiling. Such increases are not unprecedented, though after the national debate on the federal debt limit, Annapolis insiders have conceded that any movement on the state's borrowing levels could stir controversy.

A blue ribbon commission examining ways of funding roads and transportation projects recently recommended a 15-cent hike to the state's gas tax over three years. The governor said he is "certainly considering" supporting such an increase. Maryland's gas tax is now 23.5 cents.

The governor also issued an executive order calling for all of his agencies to conduct "a comprehensive review of its regulations" to determine which could be steam-lined or eliminated with an eye toward promoting job creation.

 
A group of three House lawmakers -- including Dels John Bohanan, Mary Dulany James and Galen Claggett -- have long advocated for re-examining government regs. O'Malley has referred to the group as the "job creation caucus."
Posted by Annie Linskey at 10:49 AM | | Comments (24)
        

Comments

"investment deficit"?

Libspeak for "we want more form you suckers!

O'Malley and the Democrat liberals in this state will continue to steal our money until there's nothing left to steal.

Where have all the tax & fee revenues collected over the years for infrastructure maintenance and upgrades (roads, bridges, sewers, water, power, schools, et al) gone? We've all been paying in huge amounts over the years - ostensibly specifically for such things as road maintenance and expansion, water & sewer maintenance and upgrades. For the last few years we've been told that our infrastructure is collapsing. What happened to all that revenue and why was it not spent on the infrastructure all this time?

Fairly simple, actually. The politicians and government lied to us all ... again and again, and they continue to do so.

It's all bookkeeping "magic" for which any regular person or business would go to prison. But since it's the "law making" politicians fiddling the books, it's not "technically" a violation of "the law."

I would guess that the vast majority of those revenues collected by the state over the years for specific infrastructure maintenance and updates ended up being moved into the "General Fund" and used "elsewhere" than originally intended. Much like the state lottery (which was supposed to "save our children" by funding schools) and the new Slots Caslnos (soon to be full-gaming casinos, of course!) now being built/opening in Maryland.

When will we be able to hold government & politicians accountable for using state revenues as we were led to believe they'd be used? When will the media do a serious, thorough investigation of this blatant chicanery and help us hold government accountable!?

Any journalist worth their salt would be all over this story.

more tax and spend...taxes do not create jobs they destroy them

Considering higher gas tax to create jobs?
Wow, the progessives in this state love regressive taxes. This will hurt Maryland's businesses in general but the trucking industry will really get punished.
I am sure it will pass and future increases will be indexed so that nobody has to vote on increases in the future. Do they index decreases as well? I may have to wait 30 days to see resonses.

Great idea, NOT!!!! What good are newly created jobs if nobody can afford to drive to them. Gas prices are already rediculously high. Until gas prices drop there should be no gas tax increase.

I remember this promise before the last campaign don't all of you? Only in this "criminal State" would anybody consider raising taxes on anything! He's "doing it for jobs" . God, what a slimy hack!

Maryland is the richest state in the country with the highest income inequity in the country. Who will gas taxes hurt? The same people who were hurt by the bridge and toll road increase. We want Governor O'Malley to look as hard at progressive tax reform in Maryland as he is looking for regulations to cut for corporations. Maryland citizens already suffer from a poorly regulated service industry....fraud is everywhere.

Let me get this straight. The governor wants to use gas tax money for school projects. Meanwhile, the lottery and slots are supposed to be supporting school projects, aren't they? And we're not even going to pretend that gas tax money is supposed to be used for transportation projects any more. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The gas tax needs to be raised, and 100% of the tax (not just the tax hike, but the ENTIRE tax) needs to be applied to transportation projects. Siphoning off a percentage to go to school construction or anything else is unacceptable. The tax needs to be raised to fix our crumbling infrastructure, and it must be reserved for that purpose ONLY.

O'Malley's job creation plan is raise taxes? Hmmmmmm. This is akin to me saying I will make money by playing the lottery. Sure I will win some scratchoffs but in the big picture I will lose money. Jobs created net versus jobs created are two entirely different things.

It is simply disingenuous to argue that revenues have not kept up with the needs of Maryland's infrastructure concerning transportation needs.

With nearly a billion dollars being stolen out of the Transportation Trust Fund over the years it is no wonder that there is another call for increased taxes.

Governor O'Malley and the legislature must argue that Marylanders should pay twice for transportation projects today that were paid for yesterday.

If a contractor took your original payment for materials and services and proceeded to spend it on something else, would you pay him a second time?

That's a tough sell for Governor O'Malley and Annapolis.

Another regressive tax hike to make the Free State less affordable. If you want to create jobs, make it less expensive to do business here!

It is simply disingenuous to argue that revenues have not kept up with the needs of Maryland's infrastructure concerning transportation needs.

With nearly a billion dollars being stolen out of the Transportation Trust Fund over the years it is no wonder that there is another call for increased taxes.

Governor O'Malley and the legislature must argue that Marylanders should pay twice for transportation projects today that were paid for yesterday.

If a contractor took your original payment for materials and services and proceeded to spend it on something else, would you pay him a second time?

That's a tough sell for Governor O'Malley and Annapolis.

Nick Loffer - Annapolis
Americans for Prosperity

People of Maryland remember, the following states have NO state income taxes :

Florida
Nevada
Texas

Just think of all the money u can save by a move. Will the last one who leaves turn out the lights ?

O'Malley wants to strain everyone's budgets with higher fuel costs. Makes no sense to me.

A gas tax is a flat tax. Increasing taxes on a progressive scale on taxable incomes of $300,000 and higher would be much fairer. Stop coddling the rich--they can afford higher taxes and it's time for them to help out the folks who helped make them as wealthy as they are. They will complain, but after all is said and done they will still be wealthy.

I'm surprised, but encouraged, by all the remarks here. Traditionally, Maryland is such a liberal Democratic state, anything the ol' Democratic Gov. wants, he gets. All I ask is that everyone remember all of this when the next election comes around. This man is just another tax-and-spend Liberal who thinks the taxpayers have an endless amount of money. Vote the jerk out!

If he thinks raising the gas tax in an economic environment like we are now experiencing, then Maryland is in more trouble than I thought. Maybe, just maybe raising taxes isn't the answer to every problem...or just maybe raising taxes ad nauseum is the problem.

It'll soon be time for us to leave. Can't afford Maryland. Let the "new Americans" pay for it all.

On the heels of the approved toll increases on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, commuting expenses have gone through the roof. We'll be lucky to afford to keep the job we have, let alone worry about the creation of any new jobs!

Its amazing that career politicians who don't pay for their gas, find it so easy to increase the taxes on such a commodity.

Delaware keeps looking better and better.

BOOOOOOO!!!

What a horrendously bad idea ... maybe if they didn't keep raiding the transportation fund, they'd have some money.

Stop taxing MD residents to death!!!

Oh, and Baltimore Sun, stop sucking up to O'Malley ... way to disguise your extremely liberal bias

People need gas to get to work and money to buy gas which is earned through work, unless they get money from the government then welfare recipients will rush off to get a job so they can get a job and pay for gas. good thinking.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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