They say it would provide some relief from rising gasoline prices.
Annapolis, Md. (KM) – Rising gasoline prices have been taking a big bite out of consumers’ wallets, but the State Maryland is expected to provide some relief. Comptroller Peter Franchot said hours after he proposed a 90-day gas tax holiday, the Governor and Legislative Leaders agreed to a 30-day gas tax suspension.
“That’s a significant piece of relief particularly to our vulnerable, low wage earning, 500,000 families we know who are suffering still from COVID,” he said.
Maryland’s gas tax is just over 36-cents per gallon. The money raised is used for road construction and repair.
Franchot says the state will lose some revenue from this gas tax suspension. “That will cost the state $250-million which we will have to pay. It’s not like the money just drops into the ground somewhere. No! The State has to move in and substitute its $250-million to make sure the transportation plan keeps moving forward statewide,”: he said.
But he says the State of Maryland has a projected $7.5-billion dollar surplus for fiscal year 2023, part of which comes from the huge amount of federal aid to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
This 30-day suspension of the gas tax requires legation which is expected to be drafted this week. But Franchot says the state needs to do more for those who are barely making ends meet. . “They should also authorize an emergency survival check to those 500,000 low wage earing families who are suffering as we speak,” he says. “Unlike most of us who are doing okay—we’re in the top two-thirds of the state’s economy, we have a surplus—the bottom one-third is still struggling and still very vulnerable.”
The amount of those emergency survival checks should be $2,000, Franchot says.
By Kevin McManus