(The Center Square) – Marylanders will be seeing a slight increase at the gas pump beginning July 1.
The state’s annual gas tax increase goes into effect next week and the scheduled increase will raise the gasoline tax from 36.1 cents per gallon to 42.7 cents, an 18% increase.
According to AAA, Maryland residents are paying $4.943 at the pump on Tuesday, while the national average sits at $4.968.
The gasoline tax increase has been a point of contention between Democrat Peter Franchot, the state’s comptroller who is running for governor; Republican Gov. Larry Hoga; and the state’s legislative leaders, Senate President Bill Ferguson, D-Baltimore County, and House Speaker Adrienne E. Jones, D-Baltimore County.
Last month, Franchot penned a letter to the governor and legislative leaders asking for a special session. Franchot planned to ask the legislative body to enact another gas tax holiday through Sept. 30. That session never took place.
Franchot said if granted the authority by the General Assembly, he would eliminate the gas tax from July 1 through June 30, 2023.
The increase is the largest, according to the comptroller’s office, and one business advocacy group claims small business owners will be hardest hit.
State Director Mike O’Halloran of the National Federation of Independent Businesses said the state could do more when it comes to providing relief at the gas pump.
“Small business owners are joining the call for relief at the pump,” O’Halloran said in the release. “Maryland received more than $7 billion in federal infrastructure funding earlier this year. That should more than offset any potential losses to the state’s Transportation Trust Fund from a gas tax holiday. For many small businesses, the ever-increasing costs of materials and labor as they try to recover from the pandemic is unsustainable. Unlike bigger businesses, small businesses do not have the margin to absorb such a dramatic increase in costs.”
Maryland legislatively enacted a state law in 2013 which calls for yearly gas tax rates that are tied to inflation, according to NFIB.