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Letter to the Editor - April 6

April 06, 2013

Of all taxes, gas tax will hurt Marylanders the most

To the editor:

What a sad time for Marylanders. They are going to be subjected to a regressive gas tax that will have an automatic tax accelerator tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It is unfair to the gas station owners who are operating along the borders of our state. They will lose business as people will migrate to pay less at the pump in surrounding states.

The Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) was created in 1971 to provide funding for a transportation network from the 23.5 cents-per-gallon tax. Over the years, the TTF has been raided by the governor to the tune of more than $1 billion from the highway user funds earmarked for local governments to improve roads. Those funds will never be repaid.

The gas tax will increase 4 cents in July, increase another 3 percent by July 2015 and 5 percent by July 2016, with an additional excise tax tied to the inflation in the CPI. To further the pain, the president wants to levy a federal tax on gasoline of up to 4 cents per gallon. This additional cost will also be reflected in any product purchased in Maryland that was brought by a truck.

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The gas tax passed will be used to fund three mass transit programs — the red line, the purple line and the corridor city transit project. An estimated 91 percent of Marylanders drive, while about 8 percent use mass transit. More funds will be dedicated to those projects then to repair our roads, bridges and tunnels.

With the additional 25-plus taxes Marylanders have been subjected to by this administration, this one will hurt the most. The automatic tax accelerator will eliminate any action from the legislature that will absolve its responsibility in the future. This new absurd increase is unwarranted and will especially hurt middle-class drivers and small businesses.
 
Del. Susan L.M. Aumann
R-Baltimore County

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