Maryland lawmakers pass emergency suspension of fuel tax – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – With Marylanders facing record prices at the pump, state lawmakers on Thursday passed a measure suspending Maryland’s fuel tax.

The bill, which would halt the state’s $0.36 fuel tax collection for 30 days, is now moving to the desk of Governor Larry Hogan, who is expected to sign it Friday.

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After the bill received Governor Hogan’s signature, CEO Peter Franchot said his office would issue a suspension and gas prices would drop accordingly.

“Once he signed that bill, the next gallon of gas would be tax-free,” says Franchot.

The bill was unanimously approved by both houses of the General Assembly on Thursday, by a margin of 131-0 in the House and 47-0 in the Senate.

The emergency act comes as the people of Maryland pay a heavy price due to economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Marylanders paid an average of $4.21 per gallon on Thursday, down slightly from Wednesday’s $4.23 per gallon, according to figures provided by AAA.

The bill, which has broad bipartisan support and has been in place since last week, was fast-tracked in response to calls to action from Hogan, Franchot, Senate President Bill Ferguson and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Adrienne Jones Institute, among other officials.

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Last week, Ferguson and Jones released a statement saying they were seeking a 30-day gas tax break, citing an expected increase in state revenue.

“Increasing revenue projections for this year and next give us the flexibility to provide immediate relief to families,” the couple said. “This swift action will help ease the financial burden on everyday Marylanders while keeping the pressure on Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs who have supported him.”

The Governor has also expressed his support for the fuel tax suspension.

“We are working with our legislative partners on an emergency suspension of the gas tax to ease pumper hardship,” Hogan said. “We also support ongoing efforts in the legislature to suspend automatic gas tax increases.”

Franchot, a supporter of the measure, expressed doubts about whether a month-long suspension would be enough. Instead, he called for a three-month suspension.

“The unfortunate reality is that the economic shock to the gas pump caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be felt by the people of Maryland over the next 30 days,” he said.

A growing number of governors and state legislators across the United States are calling for a halt to the gas tax, according to a CBS News reporting.

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The push for a “gas tax holiday” to combat inflation was moving slowly in Congress and in state capitals before Russia invaded. Ukrainebut they have gained momentum recently amid strong price increases.

https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/17/maryland-lawmakers-pass-emergency-suspension-of-fuel-tax/ Maryland lawmakers pass emergency suspension of fuel tax – CBS Baltimore

Jake Nichol

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