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Gas Tax Fiasco A Reminder About Democratic Raids
In 2013, Democrats screwed Taxpayers. The pain continues
The Editorial Board of the Baltimore Sun is, unsurprisingly, cheerleading the upcoming 6.6 cent gas tax increase that is coming to a gas pump near you on July 1.
The most interesting (and infuriating) section of their pro-tax screed was this:
Maryland, let’s get a grip on this gas tax stuff. It was one thing to fall for the gas tax holiday, the 30-day reprieve on the state’s roughly 36 cents per gallon tax on gasoline — a bit of political pandering that likely cost the state’s Transportation Trust Fund about $100 million that might otherwise be spent on transit and highway improvements. It’s quite another to decide that the Trust Fund should be more permanently shortchanged. Nobody likes the higher prices at the pump these days but it’s not taxes that put us in that situation, it’s the global price of oil thanks to a number of factors from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to supply-line disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic. You think filling up is costing your household budget? Try driving on roads strewn with potholes or commuting by trains stuck at the station because of lack of maintenance or replacement.
The part about why gas prices are higher of course is absolutely insane considering that I reminded everybody back in March that gas prices were skyrocketing due to decreased supply, inflation, and the gas companies and lack of resources among oil companies.
But let’s really focus on their lamenting of the Transportation Trust Fund. The Sun wants to focus on the “loss” of revenue that “costs” the Trust Fund all of this money (in thirty days!) and how a permanent gas tax repeal would mean the fund would be “permanently shortchanged”.
Ninety-six percent of members of the Maryland House of Delegates, who voted for Governor Martin O’Malley’s 87 percent gas tax hike, also approved hundreds of millions in un-repaid Highway User Fund raids over the last several years.
An analysis of roll call votes for the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) for 2009, 2010, and 2011reveals that Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly removed $868 million in highway user revenues from the Transportation Trust Fund. Keep in mind that during this period, Maryland received $771 million in federal stimulus funds for transportation infrastructure. However, none of the money went to its intended purpose because of these raids.
And yet The Sun was fine with “shortchanging” the Transportation Trust Fund in that manner because it allowed Martin O’Malley and the Democrats to continue to fund their left-wing pet projects while continuing to have a “balanced budget” insofar as the current budget was balanced and it just kicked the can down the road.
Among those voting for these raids were Senate President Bill Ferguson, House Speaker Adrienne Jones, House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke, current Congressman Jamie Raskin, Lt. Governor candidate Aruna Miller, Congressional candidate Heather Mizeur, and current Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. Of course, current Attorney General candidate Anthony Brown also came along for the ride as Martin O’Malley’s right-hand man on those raids and tax hikes.
The Sun also, conveniently, continues to ignore the issue of farebox recover rates. They want to comment on hypothetical future issues “commuting by trains stuck at the station because of lack of maintenance or replacement” while continuing to ignore that Maryland’s farebox recovery rates are unsustainable, an issue I’ve been raising for over a decade.
The upcoming 6.6 cent tax rate increase is a reminder of just how much Democrats screwed taxpayers by adopting automatic gas tax increases nearly ten years ago.