By Raquel Guillory, Director of Communications
Last week Governor O’Malley delivered the State of the State address where he laid out a clear vision for the future of our State focused on job creation, strengthening our middle class, and the dignity of every Maryland family and individual.
The Governor’s plan balances record cuts–$7.5 billion over the last six years—with the highest-ever $32 billion investment in our public education. It also balances investments in our critical infrastructure—our roads, bridges, tunnels and transit—with a phased-in proposal to lift the sales tax exemption on gasoline over the years.
In his remarks, the Governor acknowledged that while some of these proposals may not be popular, they are the right thing to do for Maryland’s future. But don’t take our word for it...
Here are a few second opinions:
“For me, raising the gasoline tax is a no-brainer. The state desperately needs money to maintain and improve roads and mass transit, not to mention build the light-rail Purple Line. A higher tax would also discourage gasoline use, thus combating global warming and reducing dependence on imported petroleum.”—Robert McCartney, Washington Post
“What’s been done in the past to avoid raising the gas tax — the usual motley assortment of fees, fares and transportation-related taxes — is no longer good enough. If Maryland continues to embrace a 1992 tax rate, it will have to settle for crumbling 1992-era infrastructure.”—Baltimore Sun Editorial Board
“Higher prices at the pump may be unwanted, but a deteriorating transportation system is costly, too. Not only in mere congestion but also in lost economic opportunity. Raising the gas tax is the right thing to do today if Maryland is to preserve its quality of life tomorrow and for the next generation.”—Baltimore Sun Editorial Board
From the Baltimore Sun: “It is true that Governor O’Malley has relied far more on spending cuts than on tax increases to keep the state budget balanced since the start of the recession — it’s even true of this year’s proposal”
“In the battle for balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility, we should view applying the sales tax to gasoline as a victory.”—Peter T. Smith, Baltimore
“Ending the sales tax exemption, rather than increasing the gas tax beyond the current 23½¢ per gallon, accomplishes two things. First, sales tax revenue keeps pace with inflation. With the current structure of the gas tax, politically difficult tax increases are needed just to keep transit operations and road maintenance constant.”—Ben Ross, Washington
For more information on the Governor’s budget, click here.
Martin O'Malley is the Governor of Maryland. He writes a regular blog for his official website.