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Chamber Seeks More Detail on Gas Tax PIan

The head of the West Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce said she would like to hear more about Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to add sales tax to the price of gasoline.

The head of the local chamber of commerce expressed mixed feelings toward Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to add a sales tax to the cost of gasoline, but said she would reserve full judgment until he presents a bill to the legislature.

Claire Louder, the President and CEO of the  in Odenton, said she was pleased to see the governor consider raising new money for transportation, but wanted to see specific details on how it could be used.

A broad coalition of business groups, including the chamber, to help raise more than $800 million for transportation improvements in the state. It has been a particularly hot local issue due to the recent expansion of Fort Meade.

O’Malley’s plan, announced Monday,  At current prices, the price of gas would rise by about 20 cents.

“There’s definitely a need for an investment,” Louder said. “But 15 cents was already a lot and now we’re talking about more than that. It just may be more than people can stomach.”

But, she said that even an additional 20 cents per gallon of gasoline would be less than the current cost of waiting in traffic on congested roads, and that infrastructure improvements would create jobs.

“It would help a hard-hit industry, and it's an investment in our infrastructure,” she said.

Louder said she’d like to know more on whether O’Malley would support a measure protecting all money in the Transportation Trust Fund from being used for any other purpose. Such a measure is “non-negotiable,” she said, because tens of millions of dollars has been diverted from the trust fund over the years to pay for other needs in the state. 

“I think there’s a degree of caution, because we have to restore some trust in the transportation trust fund, and sales tax does not automatically confer that it’s going into the trust fund in the same manner,” as the gas tax, she said.

McGibblets February 03, 2012 at 01:19 AM
as stated at the end of my original post: "I still believe this is an issue that should be resolved with current revenue, there is no need for more, only better management." There is more than enough revenue for the state and county, they simply mismanage far too much, far too often.
Ryan Stavely February 03, 2012 at 01:55 AM
And as I stated at the end of mine, "Be it at the current level or not, who should pay for roads?" Most of your post complained about who was doing the paying, not the current level of revenue.
McGibblets February 03, 2012 at 07:28 AM
Ryan: Lets not act as if that was stated in your ORIGINAL post, for that point was simply 'who should pay for that expense' regarding the rise in transportation costs, which I already stated there is no need for a rise in revenue. You then reworded to 'who should pay for roads' which is irrelevant to my point that they do not need new funds to address the issues with this road.
Ryan Stavely February 03, 2012 at 12:24 PM
By "that expense" I was referring to transportation expenses in general. Sorry that wasn't more clear to you.
McGibblets February 03, 2012 at 12:35 PM
That is a discussion for another day, as far as this story is concerned though my point stands.

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