Election years are not normally years where you see politicians calling for tax hikes, but apparently Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is not the usual politician. O’Malley has suggested raising the already 6 percent sales tax to 7 percent. The governor believes that if the extra revenues are dedicated to transportation needs in Maryland the increase will be justified.
Just a few months ago Maryland started an incremental hike in the state’s tolls. The tolls will increase again in July of 2013.
“We have the ninth lowest sales tax in the country,” O’Malley told The Washington Examiner in an interview. “So raising that sales tax by a penny and dedicating [the revenue] to transportation funding — if the legislature and the president of the Senate and speaker of the House think that is an easier lift, I’m open to that.”
O’Malley’s proposal would eventually add 18-cents per gallon of gasoline as well. He realized that his gas tax proposal is unpopular. O’Malley claims that there would be bridge closures and crumbling roads if extra funding is not found.
“What I know, though — and this is the dreadful knowledge that comes with my [job] — I know very clearly that in the years ahead if we don’t do something [to raise revenue for transportation], we will have to close bridges,” O’Malley said.
A decision must be reached before the legislative session ends on Monday, April 9, 2012.