I want to wish everyone a good morning. It is so rare that I ever see a headline in the Baltimore Sun that I agree with, but this morning's news that Maryland Governor Wes Moore wants to eliminate the automatic gas tax comes as a pleasant surprise.
From the Baltimore Sun: Ahead of a five-cent hike Saturday in the state's gas tax, Democratic Gov. Wes Moore is calling on the Maryland General Assembly to address the state's automatic increases, which he said are harmful to the financial bottom lines of working-class families, when it reconvenes in January.
"If my mom, when she was working multiple jobs and out of nowhere, she watched her gas tax increase — for many people, that's not a big deal, but that would've been a big deal for my mom, and I just feel like we've got to do better for working families in the state of Maryland," Moore said during an interview Tuesday with The Baltimore Sun.
I couldn't agree more with Governor Wes Moore. The automatic gas tax increase is a hardship on working families and disproportional impacts rural area constituents. Since it was passed into law 10 short years ago, the law automatically raises the gas tax as the consumer price index (CPI) increases. The automatic gas tax has doubled since 2013, and the gas tax has increased by more than 30% in the last two years. As many of you know, I've been the chief proponent of decoupling the gas tax with CPI and offered this as an amendment on the House floor this year.(38-90) I would like to offer up the idea of having a one-day special session now. Let's correct this problem today as I have written this legislation, as I was the lead sponsor for this bill last legislative session. Here is a link to my bill: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/hb0422
I hope that Annapolis Democrats do not use this as an opportunity to sneak a new tax onto the citizens of Maryland. It would be a shame and a bad look for a Democratic Governor to come out in support of a relatively simple idea of decoupling the gas tax from CPI only to have his own party implement a vehicle mileage tax under the false promise of fairness. A new tax would only worsen things for working families and add to the difficulties Maryland residents face, especially those living in rural areas.
This is an excellent example of what I have repeatedly said over the last several years. Constituents, especially those in the red areas of Maryland, must start fixing our state's problems from the outside. Indeed, Governor Moore did not campaign on cutting the gas tax, but after six short months in office, that's what he is proposing because constituents are applying public pressure. The silent majority needs to keep speaking out. Maryland is a great and beautiful state. Most problems people complain about in Maryland center around the state's politics. It would be better for all of us if we came together and corrected the fundamental problem of Maryland—our state's politics.
I will follow up on this great news with a letter to the governor's office.
I look forward to working with Governor Moore on this historic bipartisan accomplishment.
Delegate Matt Morgan