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Kamenetz to push gas-tax exemption for county vehicles

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz hopes to convince state lawmakers to exempt county government vehicles from the state gas tax.

Kamenetz announced his legislative agenda this week as the General Assembly convened in Annapolis. His administration says exempting county vehicles from the state tax would save about $1.6 million, with roughly $1 million in savings from county government and the rest from the county schools.

Together, the county government and school system spend $19 million a year on fuel, county officials say.

State-owned vehicles are exempt from the tax.

Also during the session, the county plans to push for the restoration of so-called "highway user funds," which is the portion of state gas tax and motor vehicle fees given to local governments for road projects. After the recession, the state began taking a higher proportion of the funds. The county's annual allocation from the fund dropped from $43 million to less than $4 million over six years.

Kamenetz is also requesting $88 million in school construction funds to ease overcrowding in the county's southwest and central areas, as well as $72 million for transportation projects.

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