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Maryland needs a gas-tax hike to fund transportation needs (taxes for choo-choos)
The Washington Post ^ | January 31, 2012 | Editorial Board

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 O’Malley (D), it’s easy to lose track of which are most critical. For a start, it’s useful to identify which needs have been most and longest neglected — and near the top of that list is transportation.

It’s 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 they’re 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 Maryland’s 23 counties and the city of Baltimore — to say nothing of Maryland’s 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. O’Malley proposes to increase the state’s 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 governor’s legislation would add about 21 cents a gallon by 2015.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: gastax; martinomalley; masstransit; salestax; taxincrease
Of course, the Post mentions nothing about the routine embezzlement of Maryland's transportation trust fund to balance the general budget.

You can see where the Post's transportation priorities lie, since they specifically mention the Purple Line and Red Line choo-choo projects.

1 posted on 02/01/2012 2:40:58 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Abundy; Albion Wilde; AlwaysFree; AnnaSASsyFR; bayliving; BFM; cindy-true-supporter; ...

Choo-choooooooo!

Maryland “Freak State” PING!


2 posted on 02/01/2012 2:42:05 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

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.


3 posted on 02/01/2012 2:45:53 AM PST by castlegreyskull
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
At this point, Marylanders (like Virginians, who last saw a gas tax increase when Ronald Reagan was president) are not paying for the roads they’re using.

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.

4 posted on 02/01/2012 2:46:49 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

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 ...


5 posted on 02/01/2012 2:52:10 AM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Nor does the compost discuss the embezzlement of TARP funds.


6 posted on 02/01/2012 3:03:51 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine's brother (Near term Obamacare 'Unit")
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
But then where would they find the hundreds of millions of dollars annually that no one disputes is needed to build and maintain an adequate transportation network

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 ...

7 posted on 02/01/2012 3:09:47 AM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

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.


8 posted on 02/01/2012 3:09:55 AM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Newt will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: BobL

“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.”

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.


9 posted on 02/01/2012 3:26:57 AM PST by bobjam
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Maryland needs to pay down it's 38.5 Billion dollar debt by cutting the waste fraud and abuse perpetrated against the states remaining tax payers . Raising taxes hasn't worked . We are rapidly losing our tax base to states with a better tax climate . We have become just another nanny state thanks to o'malley . 10 % of the population is now made up of illegals and growing rapidly . o’mally and his liberal minions need to go quickly !!!
10 posted on 02/01/2012 4:32:52 AM PST by Lionheartusa1 (-: Socialism is the equal distribution of misery :-)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
He raised the state sales tax, cigarette tax, alcohol tax and now wants to raise the gasoline tax.

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.

11 posted on 02/01/2012 5:14:10 AM PST by sickoflibs (You MUST support the lesser of two RINOs or we all die!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I think people who ride the train should pay for it, I guess that’d be $1,000 to get across town.


12 posted on 02/01/2012 5:18:30 AM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
tax DRIVERS to substitute RIDERS... communism at it's finest
13 posted on 02/01/2012 5:25:29 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

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 don’t meet pollution standards, according to a federal regulation.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency rule yesterday on fines for truck-engine makers that don’t meet federal nitrogen oxides standards, without naming the company. Transport Topics reported that the regulation applied to Navistar.


14 posted on 02/01/2012 5:33:54 AM PST by griswold3 (Character is Destiny)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Communal trains, with all the muscular power centralized in the lead position, are long and hard phallic symbols bureaucrats use to rape the taxpayers. Sometimes a train is not just a train.
15 posted on 02/01/2012 5:38:15 AM PST by Reeses
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

This was a well-timed endorsement, considering that at-the-pump prices have risen by almost 10% in the last month or so...


16 posted on 02/01/2012 6:19:56 AM PST by kevkrom (Note to self: proofread, then post. It's better that way.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Mus’ be a Democrat paper - wanna raise taxes. Tax’n’spend. Build empires. Get rich! Control people.


17 posted on 02/01/2012 6:22:23 AM PST by RoadTest (There is one god, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.)
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To: RoadTest
The lefty-moron-of-Governor (o'mally) misappropriated (stole) $770,000,000 from the state highway trust fund over the last couple years to fund his favorite "black-hole" projects. Viola...now there is a shortage???????? Maryland is THE Freak state. Hold on to your freakin' wallets! The majority of Marylanders seem to like this liberal crap. Thank God that we just sold our house and are moving out of this liberal dungeon in a couple months. If we hadn't, my brain would surely explode.
18 posted on 02/01/2012 8:05:50 AM PST by hal ogen (1st Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Oh yeah, this is one of my pet peeves.
I will have to see if Maryland Public Policy Institute ( http://mdpolicy.org/ )
has the numbers, but I believe that 20 years is untrue.
Maryland doesn't miss a beat when it comes to
taxing gas, cigarettes, and leisure items.
And hopefully there are enough Marylanders over 30
who remember why Maryland voted to bring the Lottery to Maryland.
And as I have pointed out in the past, and so is MPPI,
the so called "transportation funds" are scooped up
and put in the "general fund" pot to be spent on all their pet projects.
There is no "trust" or special account where this money is put to be used ONLY for transportation/roads.
We need special accounts - untouchable by govt officials - where this money is held, as well as our SS savings.

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."


19 posted on 02/01/2012 9:01:57 AM PST by beachn4fun (You are either an American - or not!)
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To: hal ogen

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.


20 posted on 02/01/2012 9:07:47 AM PST by alarm rider (I took the pledge, I will never vote for another RINO, not now, not ever.)
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To: sickoflibs
He raised the state sales tax, cigarette tax, alcohol tax and now wants to raise the gasoline tax.

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 !!!

21 posted on 02/01/2012 3:05:22 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Lmo56

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.


22 posted on 02/01/2012 3:08:40 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: beachn4fun

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 !!!


23 posted on 02/01/2012 3:09:25 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
And who does the MTA report to ??? The legislature and/or O'Malley ...

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 ...

24 posted on 02/01/2012 3:56:03 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: bobjam

“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.”

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.


25 posted on 02/01/2012 6:21:43 PM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Newt will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: Lmo56

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?


26 posted on 02/02/2012 4:12:31 AM PST by beachn4fun (You are either an American - or not!)
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