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Gray Davis

Business leaders urge gas tax rise

Maryland business leaders are growing concerned that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. will not propose an increase in the gasoline tax -- a measure they consider vital to meeting the state's transportation needs. The governor won't say what he intends to do on the issue. However, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, who supports a 10-cent-per-gallon increase, said that he has been told by administration officials that Ehrlich would not raise the gas tax. Ehrlich has been under strong pressure from Republican lawmakers to leave the gasoline tax at 23 1/2 cents a gallon. "Gas taxes have always been the foundation of our transportation fund," said Donald C. Fry, president of...