Skip to comments.Maryland needs a gas-tax hike to fund transportation needs (taxes for choo-choos)
Posted on 02/01/2012 2:40:55 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
IN THE MAELSTROM of tax increases proposed by Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley (D), its easy to lose track of which are most critical. For a start, its useful to identify which needs have been most and longest neglected and near the top of that list is transportation.
Its been 20 years since Maryland raised its gasoline tax, the largest source of transportation funding. As construction costs have risen, the revenue it yields has plummeted in real terms.
At this point, Marylanders (like Virginians, who last saw a gas tax increase when Ronald Reagan was president) are not paying for the roads theyre using. Despite the opening last year of the Intercounty Connector, north of the Beltway, the state has not kept pace with the growth of traffic or development.
It would cost $12 billion to satisfy just the top transportation priority of each of Marylands 23 counties and the city of Baltimore to say nothing of Marylands share of maintaining the Metro system, whose problems, many of them the result of funding shortfalls, are the bane of Washington-area commuters. As things stand now, the state has nothing like that kind of cash.
In keeping with the recommendations of a blue-ribbon commission, Mr. OMalley proposes to increase the states gas tax substantially over the next three years. Rather than hiking the flat per-gallon charge, the governor urged a phased-in sales tax, rising to 6 percent by 2016, the same rate charged for goods. If gas prices stay where they are, the governors legislation would add about 21 cents a gallon by 2015.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
You can see where the Post's transportation priorities lie, since they specifically mention the Purple Line and Red Line choo-choo projects.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
I don’t think this journalist is very smart. Saying that the proceeds from gasoline has not increased in 20 years? Not true. Also, that is not what the Governor said. The Governor said the percentage has not change. That they are leaving out is that the price of gasoline has greatly outperformed inflation, therefore has been a great source of increasing revenue for any government.
I don't know about Maryland, but in VA it costs almost $5 for a round-trip along the 267 Toll Road from outer Fairfax County into the District. Much more if you go to or come from further west, using the Greenway. The Metro is even more expensive, and additionally you have to deal with the hassles and costs of parking.
I live in MD - O’Malley’s proposal is a phased-in 6% hike over 3 years.
@ $3.50/gallon, the first 2% raises it to $3.57. The second 2% [@ $3.57] increases it $3.64. The third increases it from $3.64 to $3.71.
Thats ASSUMING a flat rate in gas. HOWEVER, gas prices are expected to got to between $4-$5/gallon. And the tax is NOT a flat incrase [such as 5 cents per year for 3 years].
It is a PERCENTAGE - in which the ACTUAL increase FLUCTUATES with the price of gas ...
AIN’T GONNA FLY IN ITS PRESENT FORM - OVER 60% OF MD RESIDENTS OPPOSE THIS ...
Nor does the compost discuss the embezzlement of TARP funds.
Since the MD government routinely RAIDED the transportation budget to fund "pet projects" - it should shit-can them now and just tell the recipients [whose votes they bought] that the state cannot afford them now ...
BTW - We just had a toll increase here on all roads and bridges after the legislature found out that the new ICC Toll Road [the Inter-County Connector: aka the Road To Nowhere] WILL NOT PAY FOR ITSELF - LIKE THE LEGISLATURE PROMISED IT WOULD ...
Another BTW: O'Malley has delusions of grandeur - he thinks he can be President. BUT, a recent poll shows that 60% of MD residents think he would suck at it and WOULD NOT vote for him. You are REALLY a putz if you can't even win your own state ...
While it’s easy to beat up on the gas, Maryland can always take the Texas approach and basically hand over control of its highways to private companies for the purpose of monopoly-protected tolling.
“While its easy to beat up on the gas, Maryland can always take the Texas approach and basically hand over control of its highways to private companies for the purpose of monopoly-protected tolling.”
Until the age of FDR, that’s how civil infrastructure was built. It’s the major reason why we are the only industrial country in the world whose railroads are privately owned.
But we got the Dream Act college for illegals AND he is pushing for same sex marriage very strongly.
The local news said his high approval ratings are due to woman and African Americans.
I think people who ride the train should pay for it, I guess that’d be $1,000 to get across town.
Maybe they can drum up an ‘emergency rule’ with expensive fines like the EPA just did.
Navistar Faces EPA Fines of Up To $2,000 Per Heavy-Duty Engine
QBy Mark Drajem and Mark Clothier - Feb 1, 2012 12:25 AM ET
(NAV), the maker of International brand trucks, faces fines of as much as $2,000 for each of its heavy-duty engines because they dont meet pollution standards, according to a federal regulation.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency rule yesterday on fines for truck-engine makers that dont meet federal nitrogen oxides standards, without naming the company. Transport Topics reported that the regulation applied to Navistar.
This was a well-timed endorsement, considering that at-the-pump prices have risen by almost 10% in the last month or so...
Mus’ be a Democrat paper - wanna raise taxes. Tax’n’spend. Build empires. Get rich! Control people.
Maryland has been warned for years
about the dismal conditions of their roads and bridges.
Did they set money (Lottery) aside for this? NO.
This is just another lame a$$ excuse to say to Marylanders,
"Help! I can't control my spending so you are responsible for covering my debt."
Amen to that. We got out two years ago and moved to WV. Best thing ever and the tax savings are great. I would say to any Marylander, get out now before it gets even worse.
Don't forget the "millionaire's tax" he got passed a few years ago. All it did was cause those affected [who live near the state lines] to move to DE, PA, VA, and WV ...
Tax receipts actually WENT DOWN because of this [and UP in the other states] ...
NOW, he wants to soak about 400,000 people who make $100K [single] and married couples with $150K income ...
What a maroon !!!
The MTA proposed the toll increases. Legislative pressure offered by people like Senator Nancy Jacobs get the MTA to dial back the increases a little bit. The increases will also be used to pay off bonds for the I-95 express lanes north of Baltimore. I’m sure those will be completed any year now...maybe.
And O’Malley wants to toss 50% of the state employees’ retirement costs BACK to the counties ...
Makes his deficit go DOWN - and the counties’ deficit go UP ...
SO, what do the counties have to do? RAISE LOCAL TAXES !!!
MD citizens were sold a bill of goods when they were told that the ICC and other toll projects would be paid for by receipts from the ICC ALONE. The state's "Transportation Study" said so - so it MUST have been true ...
The "Study" was FUNDAMENTALLY flawed.
First, the cost on the ICC - $6+ for cars/$20+ for trucks during rush hour [ONE WAY] ASSUMING THE ENTIRE DISTANCE WAS TRAVELLED. People who live in the I-270 corridor around Gaithersburg DO NOT generally work in the I-95 corridor near Laurel and Baltimore. And vice-versa.
The "Study" was assuming that 20K vehicles would use the road each day - it is more like 14K. Thats $84K per day, or about $25M per year. That is NOT enough to service the interest on the bond issue AND pay for yearly maintenance. Much less pay down the $2.1B debt ...
Second, most people work near the area they live - or in the cities [Baltimore and DC]. That is a North-South commute, NOT an East-West commute. All the ICC does [with its limited exits] is DUMP a small amount of traffic OFF I-270 and I-95 on to Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues, with the commuters STILL needing to travel N-S to get to work. MORE GRIDLOCK [just on different roads] ...
Third, trucks coming down I-95 from out of state [in rush hour] would have to travel down I-95 to Laurel [in gridlock] from the Baltimore Beltway to get to the ICC and THEN pay $20 to get to Gaithersburg. It is easier [AND CHEAPER] for them to take I-70 west to Frederick and then 20 miles south to Gaithersburg. Less traffic, less cost, less hassle, and it only adds about 15 minutes to the trip ...
I recently travelled the entire ICC [when it was still free]. I started in Kensington, got on the Beltway, went up I-270 to the ICC [about 10 minutes]. I then noted the time. It took me about 25 minutes to go from I-270 to I-95 on the ICC [watching for those damn MTA cops]. I then timed it back down I-95, onto the Beltway, and back over to Kensington - 20 minutes.
This was non-rush hour, but the time differential from I-95 over to where the ICC cuts into I-270 was 5 minutes - AND I WOULDA SAVED THE TOLL! The ONLY good thing about the ICC is if I was gonna fly from BWI and was running late. In that case, it is worth paying the toll. Otherwise, it is just a boat anchor ...
“Until the age of FDR, thats how civil infrastructure was built. Its the major reason why we are the only industrial country in the world whose railroads are privately owned.”
We were also the first country to have a true FREEWAY system, paid by people that bought gasoline (i.e., the users)...without fat-cats making out like bandits.
If you want to go back to the robber baron days of the railroads, feel free - come move here to Texas, we’re in the middle of repeating that DISASTER.
Personally I think the toll roads are unConstitutional. Our taxes are suppose to pay for roads - so how can they justify charging us more money after they’ve used our taxes to pay for that very road?
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