O’Malley’s Transportation Plan - One Big Middle Class Tax Hike
Governor O’Malley finally introduced his transportation funding plan for the 2013 General Assembly late Monday March 4th. Shamefully O’Malley recycled last year’s proposal, a massive 6% sales tax hike on gasoline that will hit middle class Marylanders hard.
His bill included 3 new caveats.
- The sales tax would be phased in by 2% every year until 2015.
- If Congress passes the Marketplace Fairness Act or the Internet Sales tax, O’Malley’s bill would expand the state sales tax to internet sales. The sales tax on gas would then only increase to 4% by 2014
- The base gasoline tax of 23.5 per gallon would be reduced 5 cents to 18.5
Once fully implemented, Marylanders would still be burdened with a 50% gas tax hike.
O’Malley’s 6% sales tax plan was rejected last year by Maryland and went nowhere in the legislature. A recent Washington Post poll showed scant support for a gas tax hike with only 26% of the state supporting such a measure.
This new proposal from O’Malley continues the talk of a “locked box” provision to the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). Drivers in FY-2013 contributed 49% of the money to the TTF but only received 30% back for road construction and repair. O’Malley’s bill, like Senator Miller Bill’s, does not guarantee that tax dollars generated by drivers will be dedicated to roads. There have been no signals from Annapolis to drivers telling them mass transit is no longer their priority.
Expanding the state sales tax to internet sales to replace 2% of the sales tax on gasoline is not a done deal. With gridlock in Washington there are questions to whether or not Congress will grant States the power to enact an internet sales tax.
O’Malley has chosen to push a massive tax hike onto Maryland’s middle class. State spending is poised to increase to a whopping $37.3 billion and O’Malley has shown no political will to set priorities or live within our means.
With the Governor now pushing the gas tax hike the political game changes in the Maryland Legislature. Will Delegates and Senators listen to the 72% of Marylanders who oppose a gas tax hike or will they follow in the steps of O’Malley with another massive middle class tax hike?