Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to raise the state gas tax by 6 percent, or roughly 18 cents, died in committee, dampening the prospects of similar measures in other states.
O’Malley pushed the fuel tax hike as necessary to raise hundreds of millions of dollars needed for infrastructure improvements. The campaign has been hurt by rising gasoline prices, which in the Central Atlantic region are short of the $4 a gallon mark by a fraction of a cent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
On the eve of the end of the state legislative session, O’Malley pitched raising the state sales tax by 1 percent and funneling the new revenue toward transportation programs, according to The Examiner. There is talk of a special session on Maryland’s transportation funding needs.
Although average state transportation spending in fiscal 2011 rose 8.5 percent year-over-year, states saw their gas tax revenue plummet a total $10 billion in the same period, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The average state hasn’t raised its gas tax in nearly 11 years, and it needs a 6.8 percent bump on average to get back to those funding levels.