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Poll: Would You Pay More for Gas to Fix Bad Roads?

Research shows 55 percent of Maryland’s urban highways are congested.

There is talk among Maryland state officials about raising the gas tax to pay for several unfinished transportation projects, and a commission studying the issue is expected to endorse that idea.

The proposal would increase the state's 23.5 cents-per-gallon tax by 15 cents, according to the Baltimore Sun--an idea expected to get the thumbs up Tuesday from the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding.

The proposal would also include provisions that would protect the state’s Transportation Trust Fund from being used to make up for general fund shortfalls, according to the Sun.  

In August, warned county officials to be ready for possible upcoming tax increases, including a gas tax, saying, “We will all have to be open to more cuts, and at the same time—to protect our children’s future—we must be open to new revenues.”

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III have been among those lobbying for to pay for transportation projects.

Analysts from TRIP, a D.C.-based organization that researches transportation issues, has confirmed what commuters in the area have long known--55 percent of Maryland’s urban highways are congested, resulting in significant rush-hour delays.

According to TRIP, vehicle travel in Maryland increased 36 percent from 1990 to 2008–jumping from 40.5 billion vehicle miles traveled in 1990 to 55 billion in 2008.

By 2025, vehicle travel in Maryland is projected to increase by another 30 percent, according to TRIP.

Weigh in on our poll and in the comments below: Do you support a gas tax increase in Maryland?

Rick Saffery October 26, 2011 at 01:50 AM
There's absolutely no need to raise the gasoline tax. Similarly, there's no need to levy a sales tax on it either. Increased vehicle traffic already provides abundant revenue for road surface repair. The change we should demand, and this poll should ask, "When will the administration stop stealing from the transportation fund to pay for its pet projects like illegal alien sanctuary?" We can have excellent roads or 300,000 tax-payer subsidized illegal aliens. Choose one. The administration throws the entire state under the gasoline-tax subsidized bus each time it chooses the latter.
C. Titus October 26, 2011 at 09:39 AM
I agree with you Rick. Our previous taxes have alreay paid for this work to be undertaken. It's time those in Annapolis realize what they really need to do is cut out the waste, and cut back on spending. We're just now hearing about the proposed gas tax, what hasn't been addressed but is being considered is the potential increase (50%) in vehicle registration fees, a doubling of the emission testing fee, and on and on. If this isn't stopped Marylanders who own vehicles aren't going to know what hit them.
Robert Wickline October 26, 2011 at 10:34 AM
Everytime they raise or create a new tax to fund something the money gets spent on unnecessary stuff. For instance they raised the liquor tax and then decide to put artificial turf on two football fields. It's funny, they always say we need more police and teachers and then they do someting stupid like piss away 2 million for these fields. I'm reasonably sure these fields won't make our kids any smarter and our streets any safer. It's insane!
Bob October 26, 2011 at 11:43 AM
What happened to the money set aside for road construction already? What makes you think we can trust these same folks with actually using this money for road repairs/new construction WHERE IT IS REALLY NEEDED? The people in office complain about Oil Company profits, then when the price coming down, THEY raise the price by raising the taxes. Am I missing something here? This is in direct contradiction of the recent mantra of "taxing the rich" by raising taxes on the middle class and poor. Why has no one seen this?
JH October 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Taxes are too high now in Maryland. Need to eliminate the fraud and waste in Maryland Medicaid ---- way too many deadbeats and freeloaders from across the country and around the world coming to take advantage of a relaxed welfare program. Also, if more revenue is needed you can start by collecting from those that don't pay any state income tax. Too many getting a free ride at the expense of law abiding citizens. Time for new leadership.
Peter Lewnes October 26, 2011 at 03:27 PM
NO TAXES & DO NOT re-elect ANYONE who raises them! Better yet, TAX the OIL COMPANIES who are making BILLIONS! Also, what ever happened to all the monies the FOOL in the White House got in the FIRST STIMULUS for roads, bridges, etc. I saw a one mile stretch near my home re-paved!
LaurelSince88 October 26, 2011 at 05:08 PM
No way! The government should eliminate wasteful spending and relocate it to programs tax payers care about, like this one.
Val McGuire October 26, 2011 at 09:28 PM
I agree with Rick!
Phil October 27, 2011 at 02:37 PM
No more taxes or tax increases! It seems our big spending Governor O'Malley wants to take this state down the same road as Ca., Ill., and other areas that have spend themselves into bankruptcy because they can not, or will not, control spending or stop "give aways" to politically connected favorites. It seems just two years ago we went through the largest tax increases this state ever saw. Guess it was so successful our big spenders want to repeat the performance.
Res Ipsa Loquitur October 27, 2011 at 02:48 PM
You're right, astro turf will not make the streets safer or the kids any smarter, but you do seem to be advocating fiscal responsibility. Despite the higher initial cost, the lifetime costs in maintenance of an artificial football field are substantially lower than the costs of a grass field. Given that I am sure the county plans to keep those high schools open for another 10,20,30,40,50? years? The new fields should reduce their costs over the long run, not raise them.
ZIG October 27, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Both Democrats and Republicans have raided the transportation trust fund for some time. I do not expect we will get ethical use of any gas tax. I vote no !!!! Pleas keep illegal aliens out of this
Bob October 31, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Peter - Oil companies do pay taxes, millions in taxes. What you need to look at is the amount you pay at the pump to folks who do NOTHING for it, in other words, the politicians. Always blaming the big companies makes a fine talking point, but misses the real point:The politicians get billions in tax money for infrastructure upkeep and improvement yet squanders it on pet projects, often over priced ones. Yes, the oil companies are making billions, but they are re-investing those profits, plus they actually WORKED for it: exploration, refining, transporting, etc. Why not go after Hollywood for all the millions/billions they make?

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