MD Commuters Would Be Most Hurt By O’Malley Gas Tax Hike
When Gov. Martin O’Malley’s transportation secretary said this week that he supports hiking Maryland’s 23.5-cents-a-gallon gas tax along with creating a new sales tax on gasoline, it should have struck fear in the hearts of state commuters.
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In an interview with the Sun, Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari also said he supports changing the method of taxing gas, from one based on the gallon to one tied to rising prices.
If such a proposal becomes reality, which is likely considering Maryland is a one-party state, it means the average commuter could expect to pay hundreds of dollars per year in additional taxes– just to go back and forth to work.
Any kind of gas tax increase is bad news for Maryland motorists because they have the second longest average commute than any other state in the Union with the exception of New York, according to the latest figures from the Census Bureau.
Long drive home
For example, on average Maryland commuters have a 30.2 minute commute compared to the average 30.4 minute average commute of New York residents.
Among the 10 cities with the highest average commuting times, New York and Baltimore lay claim to having the highest percentage of people with “extreme” commutes — 6% of their commuters spend 90 minutes or more to get to work.
So, you can readily see that any significant increase in the state’s gasoline tax will financially hurt tens of thousands of commuters, who are already spending more time behind the wheel than the majority of other Americans.
Many of them are forced to commute long distances to their jobs as a result of many companies having left urban and suburban areas for less expensive rent and taxes in ex-urbia, which is also a result of one-party, Democratic rule.
Add to this the fact that they’re also being forced to pay a record high price per gallon as oil prices skyrocket, and it’s hard to believe O’Malley when he keeps saying he and his party are for the “working family.”
Democrats have consistently raised the gas tax, which was 11 cents a gallon in 1982 to its current — and soon to be raised — rate of 23.5 cents per gallon.
Gas tax hike will hurt small businesses too
While O’Malley’s gas tax might help pay for Maryland’s so-called $1.5 billion structural deficit, economists say the hike coupled with rising gasoline prices will hurt small businesses.
That’s because Maryland commuters will be forced to spend less on going out to eat and other non-essential expenditures in order to cover the higher cost of fuel caused by an O’Malley gas tax hike.