Politics

Maryland governor, top lawmakers agree to pause gas tax for 30 days amid surging prices

On Thursday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and other top legislative leaders came to an agreement to suspend the state’s gas tax for 30 days as prices have been rising at pumps across America.

That agreement was announced following state officials saying Maryland’s revenue projections have shot up an additional $1.6 billion for both the current and next fiscal years due to the huge federal aid in place to address the coronavirus pandemic.

“Increased revenue projections for this year and next year give us the flexibility to provide immediate relief to families,” said House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson in a joint statement. “This swift action will help ease the financial burden on everyday Marylanders while keeping the pressure on Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs who have enabled him.”

The suspension of the gas tax, which in the state is nearly 37 cents per gallon, will require legislation in order to be enacted for Marylanders.

“We expect it to get done next week,” said Michael Ricci, Hogan’s spokesman, in an email. “We are in agreement on the timeframe.”

The increase in revenue comes in addition to several billion dollars in the state’s budget surplus that lawmakers have been discussing how to manage as the budget is being shaped for the next fiscal year, beginning on July 1. 

Hogan released a statement following the meeting noting his support of the gas tax suspension, as well as to push for other tax relief he favors.

“This report further proves that we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance substantial tax relief for our families, small businesses, and retirees,” Hogan wrote. “People across the country are being squeezed by surging inflation on everything from gas to groceries – Marylanders, especially our retirees, deserve and need this relief.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BALTIMORE SUN

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