Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

March 26, 2013

‘March Madness in Annapolis means higher taxes for Md.

Gov. Martin O’Malley and the Democrats in Annapolis have the same answer to all of our problems: tax increases. The governor claims that this gas tax increase is needed to build roads and bridges.

However he fails to mention that since becoming governor he has raided over $1 billion in funds from the Transportation Trust Fund, which have not been repaid.

The governor and his Democratic allies push for their new taxes, never mind the facts. Never mind that only 9 percent of Marylanders use transit yet 57 percent of our transportation budget is spent on transit, still they want more transit funding.

Never mind that since 2007 spending on mass transit has ballooned $215 million to $965 million while funding for the State Highways Administration has actually decreased $11 million in the same time period to $228 million.

Never mind that motorists through the gas tax, tilting tax, registration fees, and MVA fees contribute over $2 billion dollars to transportation yet only 13 percent of that amount is spent on the State Highways Administration.

It is almost unbelievable that 50 percent of all the money raised by motorists goes to fund transit programs, yet it does.

Now Gov. O’Malley has raised taxes on us once again. This time his tax will nearly double the gas tax from 23.5 cents per gallon to 44 cents per gallon in 2017.

Add to that the 18 cent federal excise tax and we will be paying over 60 cents in taxes for a gallon of gas. To fill up a 20-gallon gas tank you will be paying over $12 in taxes plus the increasing cost of fuel.

And since the tax is partly tied to the price of gas, the tax will continue to increase as the cost of fuel increases.

In tough economic times like today the last thing we need to do is to raise taxes — let alone one in which the revenue raised will not benefit Western Maryland but will be used to fund new mass transit projects in the D.C. and Baltimore metro areas.

As usual the Democrats resorted to illegal parliamentary tactics that stifle debate and try to silence the minority party.

The procedure also allowed some Democrats to switch their vote to “no” on the gas tax after it was clear there were enough votes for it to pass.

This is not how our House is supposed to function; unfortunately procedures like these have become business as usual in Annapolis.

These are the same counterproductive tax and spend policies that this governor has continued to pursue for the past six years.

I voted against this tax increase and will continue to stand up to these destructive pieces of legislation that hurt Western Maryland.

Delegate LeRoy Myers

R-Washington/Allegany

 

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