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News Opinion

Do the math on Md.'s gas tax

Well, The Sun has come out with an editorial that supports the new and latest tax hike coming from those Good ol' boys down in Annapolis ("Gas tax compromise," March 6). Now, that in itself is not a surprise. In fact, I can't think of any new taxes or fees levied upon the citizens of this state in the last six years that they didn't endorse. But let's look at the real numbers here.

Basically, what is being proposed is subjecting the price of gasoline and diesel fuel to the state's 6 percent sales tax, phased in at 2 percent per year for three years. So, if you average out a gallon of fuel at $3.50 and apply a 2 percent tax to that, it amounts to a 7 cent increase per year, 21 cents over the three-year phase in period, assuming that the average price of gas stays at $3.50 per gallon.

But wait, there's more. We already are paying a static tax of 23.5 cents per gallon of gas to the state now, so really, they're looking to almost double what we pay the state for a gallon of gas.

To further confuse the public, they say they are going to roll back the static tax of 23.5 cents per gallon to 18.5 cents per gallon, which would make the first years increase only 2 cents per gallon.

But wait , there's still more. The static tax roll back is nothing but a diversion to get you looking in another direction, because they also say that they want to tie the that tax to the Consumer Price Index. If they are successful in doing this, the static tax could rise by 1 to 2 cents per year, and before you realize it, we could all be paying the state more that 50 cents in combined tax for every gallon of fuel pumped. A 20 gallon fill up would cost you $10 in taxes to the state.

What inquiring minds should ask is, what happened to all of the money that was supposed to go to the roads, bridges etc. that has been collected from all the taxes, fees and tolls that we have in place now? That's right folks, they took most of that money to pay for other things that they thought were more important for them to deal with, and now they come back to us and say we spent your money and we need you to pay for it all again. But now they say, trust we're not going to steal the money from the transportation fund again —unless of course they really need it.

Mark Wilson, Fallston

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