O’Malley Says Gas Tax, Other Increases Part Of Agenda In 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011
Robert Lang in Annapolis

Governor Martin O’Malley says lawmakers in 2012 will have to have the “courage” to consider tax hikes as well as spending cuts, and that includes an increase in the state’s gasoline tax.

At a briefing for reporters in Annapolis today, O’Malley said lawmakers have already cut $6.8-billion in spending over the last four years.

He says more money is needed for road and bridge projects.

“You can’t build a $100-million bridge for $10-million,” O’Malley said.

He notes that the state’s 23.5-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax was set in 1992 when gasoline was selling for more than $1.10 a gallon. Regular now sells for more than $3 a gallon. He notes that gas tax revenue has not kept up with rising costs of infrastructure projects.

He says the road and bridge projects will help create construction jobs.

Reflecting on nearly 5 years in office, the governor said that Maryland has recovered nearly 43% of the jobs lost in the recession of 2005, noting that neighboring Virginia has only recovered 37%.

He also said he doesn’t believe there’s anything he will be more grateful about in public service then the fact that Baltimore’s murder rate has been dropping over the years.

The number of murders in the city stands at 195, with just days left in the year.

When O’Malley ran for mayor of Baltimore, he said he wanted to bring the number of murders to 175 when there were more than 300 at the time. The number of murders in the city dropped below 300 when he was mayor, but he never got close to the 175 goal.

Now, he says, people actually believe the 175 goal can be met.

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… That’s all they know.  Tax the little guy some more to deepen their pockets. …

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