O'Malley Pushes For Transportation Funding

Facing opposition to gas tax, governor proposes sales tax increase.

As Maryland's legislative session nears its end, Gov. Martin O'Malley continues to push for ways to raise much-needed revenue for transportation infrastructure projects.

Most delegates think O'Malley's unpopular gas tax legislation, which would add a 6 percent sales tax on gasoline to fund the state's Transportation Trust Fund, is dead.

On Wednesday, O'Malley again suggested that adding a penny to the general state sales tax could be a more viable solution. "I always thought the most unpopular thing was when you combine the word gas with the word tax," O'Malley told reporters outside a building renaming ceremony in Annapolis.

He also said adding a penny to Maryland's sales tax would be much less unpopular, although it would raise a comparable amount of revenue.

But some delegates said O'Malley created the transportation funding problem.

"He has no credibility left," said Delegate Herb McMillan, R-Anne Arundel, who describes himself as a moderate Republican. "He has taken money out of the Transportation Trust Fund in the past."

McMillan said adding a penny to the state sales tax will be just as unpopular among his constituents as the gas tax.

Regardless, passing a new tax with only a few days left in the session may be difficult.

"There's talk of a special session," said Delegate Sam Arora, D-Montgomery. "I think that's why you see the governor doing the trial balloon with the penny on the sales tax. We're in desperate need of transportation revenue, but don't know where to get it."

O'Malley told reporters Wednesday he hadn't considered going into special session to address transportation.

Talk of O'Malley running for president in 2016 has fueled speculation that he is pushing the gas tax to show voters what he accomplished as governor in Maryland, but McMillan didn't see how a tax increase would be something to brag about.

"I can't figure out how taxing the hell out of you qualifies someone to be president," McMillan said. "I think it actually makes him a less attractive candidate nationally."

Jeff Kennedy April 05, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Martin O'Malley lives in a beautiful, walled city named Camelot. We are the mindless pawns in his political chess match for the advancement of King O'Malley. King O'Malley when you raise my taxes you are giving me another pay cut. How about we try somthing new like " lets make the State Government 10% more efficient". When you spend my money more wisely I'll be glad to give you more. To the voters in the Great State of Maryland- when you have a 1 party system in place you will be the loser every time!
Elizabeth April 05, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Now wait a minute on raising the sales tax. Maryland is getting few million from the Mega Millions winning ticket. That should be used for the transportation fund. Like O'Malley, he's probably going to spend it elsewhere!
Elle April 05, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I'm proud to say, I DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM :)
Conrad April 05, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I did not, cannot, will not, shall not, (well you get the idea) vote for him either
Concerned Elkridgean April 07, 2012 at 10:27 AM
No more taxes. Maryland is one of the highest in tax rates. They need to cut cut cut.... Maryland state need to live under its means. I am tired of the inefficiencies in govt. When they screw up fiscally who has to pay... US....MD Residents... It is not only the governor screwing up it is every employee that supports the system that cannot or will not correct the situation. The backdoor deals made with businesses so that they can leech off of our hard earned buck. Tax breaks for corporations.. If they cannot afford the transportation infrastructure why did they encourage BRAC. Jobs we ask then where is the additional revenue from all the jobs and new businesses!


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