Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

May 5, 2013

Higher gasoline tax imposes injustice on Frostburg citizens

There is an injustice that exists in my hometown of Frostburg. The Maryland General Assembly recently passed a bill that will increase the Maryland gas tax.

According to writers John Wagner and Aaron C. Davis from The Washington Post, the tax will increase the price of gasoline by 13 to 20 cents per gallon by 2016. This would raise “$4.4 billion for new projects over the next six years.”

The increase of the Maryland gas tax creates an injustice in Frostburg because its negative impacts will be greater in Frostburg than they will be in other parts of Maryland.

Residents of Frostburg will suffer more than others from the added tax burden. According to Michael A. Fletcher from The Washington Post, those who argue in defense of the gas tax claim that it will not have large economic impacts on motorists in Maryland.

This may be true for most regions in Maryland. However, the economic impacts on Frostburg will be much greater, because average income in Frostburg is much lower compared to the rest of Maryland.

According to data from the year 2009, median household income in Frostburg was $32,218, whereas the median for all of Maryland was $69,272. Almost 22 percent of houses in Frostburg had an income less than $10,000 in 2009.

The total for the state was 5.4 percent of households. Clearly the impacts of the taxes will be felt much more in Frostburg compared to Maryland as a whole.

In conclusion, the Maryland gas tax is unjust because it is not affordable to residents of Frostburg. With a lower average income compared to the rest of the state, the burden will be heavier in Frostburg than it will be elsewhere.

I encourage all readers to do further research in order to learn more about the situation. Residents of Frostburg and the surrounding area should not be tolerant of such an injustice.  

Peter Valenta

Student, Frostburg State University

Frostburg

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