gas pump

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -– As gas prices skyrocket across the nation, Matt Morgan[R-St. Mary’s] wants Marylanders to help him get bill House Bill 144 passed, which would repeal the connection between fuel taxes in Maryland and the Consumer Price Index.

“If they are going to raise taxes, they should have to take a vote on it. We should not have automatic tax increases,” Morgan said. “This year, gas prices are on the rise. Inflation is at a 40-year high.”

Morgan is referring to the government adjusting specified motor fuel tax rates in future years based on growth in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers. The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services, which could go up or down. However, taxes go up for when the Consumer Price Index does, but it does not always follow it back down because there is no metric in legislation for it to go back down, according to Morgan.

Morgan introduced this bill in 2018 to solve this problem. In 2013, Maryland created a law mandating the increase of gas taxes annually, all based on inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Currently, inflation is at 7.9%, according to trading economics.

However, the bill has seemed unlikely to pass because “the Democratic party thinks they can spend your money better than you”, Morgan said. He cited the increases as “easy” revenue for the state to collect. 

Morgan is not the only person calling for relief at the pump. In the wake of a historic budget surplus of $7.5 billion, Republican legislators and even Maryland Governor Larry Hogan[R] are looking for ways to financially help citizens.

“In addition, at this time of global uncertainty due to Russian aggression, we are working with our legislative partners on an emergency suspension of the gas tax to help with the pain at the pump,” Hogan said in a press release on March 10. “We also support ongoing efforts in the legislature to suspend automatic increases in the gas tax. And I have called on the Biden administration to increase domestic energy production to help lower costs. Now more than ever, we must come together to take bold, bipartisan action.”

More people are paying more attention to gas prices. Morgan urges Marylanders who care about this issue, as he does, to contact their state senators and delegates about this, to hopefully force their hand.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Late on Thursday, General Assembly leadership and the Governor struck a deal to waive the gas tax in Maryland for 30 days. This suspension will still require legislation to take effect. A spokesperson for Governor Larry Hogan told the Associated Press that the legislation could be seen as early as next week. This is not expected to impact the automatic gas tax that this story discusses after the 30 days end.

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  1. Anything to help is ridiculous. Gas prices, food prices, and 7.9% inflation is NOT helping our country at all.

  2. Well, if gas and oil producers actually were producing instead of manipulating prices for shareholders we wouldn’t be in this situation. But, they have over 9,000 unused permits so it isn’t the POTUS causing the issue- it’s the producers. But let’s not forget – the gas tax helps pay for roads. If they get rid of it, are you going to say Dems are raising taxes when they have to re-introduce it?

      1. Actually, I read. I don’t have cable. But I do have investments. At least I don’t believe Republicans.

  3. “so it isn’t the POTUS causing the issue”
    Ha! Ha! Ha!
    Yeah, I heard him say “it’s not my fault”, and his nose grew another inch.

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