This article first appeared here on Fox5dc.com
ROCKVILLE, Md. – Get ready to start pumping out more of your cold hard cash if you buy gas in Maryland.
On July 1, the state’s gas tax is set to increase, and now Republicans are asking Democratic Governor Wes Moore hit the brakes.
The 10% increase will put Maryland’s gas tax at 47 cents a gallon — one of the highest in the nation.
By law, since 2013, Maryland’s gas tax is tied to inflation, and unless the governor and lawmakers step in — this new 47-cent gas tax will kick into gear.
Some estimates calculate this could cost about $366 a year for the average Maryland driver.
State Senator Mike Mckay told FOX 5, Republicans in the Maryland General Assembly pushed a bill this year to cancel the gas tax hike, but didn’t advance in the Democratic-controlled legislature. One of the largest associations of gas station owners also opposes the hike because station owners are the first ones who will have to pay.
“I hate to say it but most Marylanders are going to have to suck it up. And i just don’t know where the money comes from. Inflation, in general, is already up,” Sen. McKay said. “I don’t know. Do you take money from meds that you might need?”
“It hurts them. It means that they’ve got to have a big, big pocketbook to back up their gas purchases and that’s the way it goes,” said Kirk McCauley with WDMA Service Station Association.
Stopping the gas tax increase before July 1 won’t be easy. In order to delay the tax, the governor would likely have to declare a state emergency and call the legislature back into session.
Maryland Comptroller Brook Leirman’s Office told FOX 5, it’s her job to calculate the tax, not get involved in the political debate.
A spokesperson for Governor Wes Moore sent FOX 5 a statement saying, “While gas prices in Maryland are nowhere near the levels the state saw last year, Governor Moore is laser-focused on helping reduce costs for working families.”