Thu, Jun 23, 2022 11:09 AM
By By Brent Addleman | The Center Square, The Center Square
(The Center Square) – Suspending the gas tax to provide relief to hard-working Marylanders is an action Gov. Larry Hogan wants the state and federal government to work toward.
The Republican governor, while visiting Western Europe on a diplomatic trip this week, said Maryland has shown it can ease the pain at the pump with enactment of suspending the gas tax in March. He is now calling on Congress, Maryland’s comptroller, and its General Assembly to provide longer-lasting relief.
“Nearly 100 days ago, Maryland became the first state in the nation to suspend the gas tax, and we proved that it can be done successfully to lower prices for working Americans,” Hogan said in a release. “We have also been calling on President Biden to take action to suspend the federal gas tax, and we are pleased that he has now finally agreed to do so. With the pain at the pump only getting worse, Congress should act immediately to suspend the federal gas tax.”
On Wednesday, President Biden called on Congress and all 50 states to work toward providing gas tax holidays; the national average of gas has hovered around the $5 mark in recent days.
Biden is calling for a suspension of the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax for a period of 90 days.
In late May, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who is also running for governor, called for a special session of the General Assembly to grant him the authority to suspend the state’s 18% increase in the gas tax that is scheduled to take effect July 1. In a letter to the governor and the General Assembly, Franchot wrote that he also planned to waive the gas tax for one year, from July 1 to June 30, 2023.
The gas tax increase next month will see it rise to 42.7 cents per gallon, up from its current rate of 36.1 cents.
“We are also again calling on Democratic leaders in Maryland to take action to address rising gas prices,” Hogan said in the release. “We are once again calling on the comptroller to use the same authority he has in the past in order to minimize the impact of the gas tax increase scheduled for July 1. We are again calling on the presiding officers of the General Assembly to convene a special session for the express and sole purpose of passing emergency legislation to suspend the gas tax. I am prepared to swiftly sign a gas tax suspension into law.
“There is no reason why we cannot come together and get this done before the July 4th holiday to provide much-needed relief for the crushing costs burdening families and businesses.”