Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

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

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014

  • Speed cameras Speed cameras

    We’ve never been big fans of speed cameras, primarily for two reasons. First, because the cameras are not always accurate, and secondly because many jurisdictions seem to create revenue by installing cameras and issuing high numbers of speeding tickets.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Group wants status quo on Sunday hunting

    Many Maryland residents have grown very concerned about two legislative bills that are arriving on the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley after being approved by both the Senate and House chambers this session. With the governor’s possible signature of these bills into law, hunting would be allowed on certain state lands on Sundays — a day in the past reserved for rest and non-hunters to enjoy public lands.

    April 10, 2014

  • New policies will grow better streamside buffers

    Well-functioning forest buffers along streams are perhaps the most effective and least costly best management practice we have to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

    April 10, 2014

  • National Day of Prayer events begin April 30

    The Cumberland National Day of Prayer Committee has finalized plans for the 63rd annual observance, with a prayer rally, a breakfast, an outdoor worship ceremony and youth rally planned April 30 through May 2.

    April 9, 2014