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General Assembly leaders: Eliminating gas tax hike won’t reduce prices

May 25th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

WBAL reports the leaders of Maryland's General Assembly say eliminating the legislatively mandated gas tax increase will not reduce prices at the pump and will cost the state when it comes to road safety.

In a joint statement released Wednesday, Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones pushed back on the proposal to halt the gas tax hike amid calls from the governor, comptroller and the House Republican Caucus to act before the increase is set to take effect on July 1.

Due to legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2013, the gas tax will increase from 36.1 cents per gallon to 42.7 cents per gallon. The law mandates the increase of gas taxes annually based on inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

On Tuesday, the comptroller and the House Republican Caucus each sent letters to the legislative leaders, seeking a special session to address the state's gas tax.

Comptroller Peter Franchot is seeking emergency legislation that grants him the authority to suspend the automatic increase in the gas tax. The comptroller wrote that if granted legislative authority, he will do so for one fiscal year, from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

The comptroller also called on the Legislature to pass another state gas-tax holiday through Sept. 30, similar to the 30-day gas tax holiday adopted in March.

The House Republicans also seek to enact a gas tax holiday and eliminate the automatic increase in the gas tax