Md. Comptroller Asks Governor To Call For A Special Legislative Session

Peter Franchot

He says it’s to deal with the upcoming gasoline tax increase.

Annapolis, Md. (KM) – Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is calling on Governor Larry Hogan and the Legislative Leadership to convene a special session of the General Assembly. He says he wants lawmakers to pass a bill to give the Comptroller the authority to waive the 18% increase in the gasoline tax which is scheduled to go into affect on July 1st, 2022.

Franchot says this gasoline tax increase is not needed while residents are struggling with inflation, particularly high gasoline prices. “Add kind of insult to injury by adding a historic increase in the gas tax. I’m talking about an 18% increase in the Maryland gas tax because of a law passed ten years ago that ties the gas tax to inflation,” he says.

When that legislation was enacted, Franchot points out that inflation was very low at that time.

Both Comptroller Franchot and the Governor have been disputing over who has the authority to suspend or lower the  gas tax. The Governor is calling on the Comptroller to take action regarding the gas tax. Franchot was asked if he can do that. “No, I can’t. I specifically do not have that authority,”: Franchot responded. “If I did have that authority, I would get rid of the gas tax increase immediately.”

Franchot says calling the Legislature back into session will help settle this issue. He says both he and the Governor agree that the gas tax should not go up during these inflationary times. “What I’m suggesting to me is the one clear thing he {the Governor}  has is to call a special session, have the Legislature come back,”: says Franchot.

If lawmakers are called back to Annapolis, Franchot says they should also pass a gas tax holiday through September 30th. “That’s gives people a small bit of relief, particularly folks that are driving their cars. It also serves as a real help to the  state’s business climate,” he says.

When the state put a gas tax holiday in affect in April and May, Franchot says motorists from out of state came to Maryland to buy gas, and also spend their money on other products and services.

By Kevin McManus