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Why higher gas taxes are the right medicine for Maryland (BARF)
The Washington Post (BARF) ^ | February 17, 2012 | Douglas M. Duncan

Posted on 02/18/2012 1:44:27 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

For years, we’ve been hearing from experts across the political spectrum about the need to invest more in our failing transportation infrastructure in Maryland. The D.C. region is at the top of the list of the most-congested cities in America, and Baltimore is not far behind. Almost half of Maryland’s roads and bridges are in poor or mediocre condition, and 55 percent of our urban highways are heavily congested. Maryland’s construction industry and its thousands of workers have been decimated by years of severe cuts in transportation investment. Despite what is clearly a growing need, Maryland’s transportation program is a shadow of its former self. Our failure to invest has cost us tens of thousands of jobs, and the price tag will only go up if we don’t reverse course.

This year, in his State of the State address, Gov. Martin O’Malley called on state legislators to add $613 million in dedicated transportation funding by applying the state’s 6 percent sales tax to gasoline sales at the wholesale level. The governor’s diagnosis is correct: Our economy is slowly choking to death, and we know what medicine to take. The fact that it may not taste good going down is no reason to refuse treatment. Our region’s health suffered for years as we endlessly debated building the Intercounty Connector, a roadway that is now taking cars off the Beltway and giving motorists some relief. We need to take bold action once again.

The gas tax has not been raised in Maryland since 1992 and, because it is not indexed to inflation, it has lost roughly 60 percent of its value. Without a major increase in funds, we simply will not be able to keep pace with basic maintenance needs...

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: dougduncan; gastax; highways; idiot; infrastructure; montgomerycounty; roads; taxandspend; taxincrease; transit; transportation
BARF alert, because they just love those choo-choo projects.
1 posted on 02/18/2012 1:44:33 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Abundy; Albion Wilde; AlwaysFree; AnnaSASsyFR; bayliving; BFM; cindy-true-supporter; ...

You heard the man: WE’RE DOOMED! Now shut up and open your wallets for mass transit!

Maryland “Freak State” PING!


2 posted on 02/18/2012 1:48:07 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
If the next president turns DC into a sort of ghost town, several of Maryland's problems will just disappear.
3 posted on 02/18/2012 1:51:21 PM PST by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

They should just move everyone to the Agenda 21 Concentration Kamps ASAP.


4 posted on 02/18/2012 1:52:05 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Living in a state with a governor who is an anti-gas tax FANATIC (Texas), I can tell you that there are things worse than paying an extra 10 cents per gallon.

First, we had to deal with an INSANE plan to grab HUGE amounts of private land, just to hand over to private companies for monopoly-protected tolling (the plan has since been killed, more or less). Now we still deal with what should be freeways, but instead charge us 25 cents per mile to drive - for those mathematically challenged, figure it’s equivalent to paying $10 per gallon for gas, because that is what it comes out to for a typical car.

Yes, we all HATE gas taxes...but having governors that sell off highways and rights of way to foreign companies is not so great either. The bottom line is that if you want to be able to drive around, plan to pay a REASONABLE tax on gas, otherwise get tolled THROUGH THE TEETH, as in many thousands of dollars per year.

Sorry if I (again) offended the Perry Girls.


5 posted on 02/18/2012 2:00:29 PM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
How else can revenue problems be solved if taxes aren't increased for crying out loud?

/MS Heh!

6 posted on 02/18/2012 2:03:08 PM PST by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

It’s okay - the people of Maryland love high taxes. :)


7 posted on 02/18/2012 2:04:14 PM PST by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: Tzimisce
If I didn't have just a couple months left in this socialistic, tax-crazy rat-hole (aka: THE Freak State), I'd go nuts.
8 posted on 02/18/2012 2:06:53 PM PST by hal ogen (1st Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: BobL

I agree. Government has the legitimate authority to raise taxes to pay for public uses. Note that I use the original constitutional concept, not the idea of paying for anything that has a public purpose (meaning everything government wants to do).

Plus, it’s factually true that taxes that aren’t indexed to inflation lose value over time. As the article notes, the tax lost 60% of it’s value since 1992, a staggering loss of value thanks to our federal government btw.

The problem here, I think, is that so much of these taxes are simply squandered. The government pays far more and the work takes far longer than they should.


9 posted on 02/18/2012 2:16:36 PM PST by CitizenUSA (Why celebrate evil? Evil is easy. Good is the goal worth striving for.)
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To: BobL; All

BobL, as I believe I have said before, I’m not so much against the tax hike itself, as I am against the way it’s doled out. When it comes to transportation revenues (gas tax, a piece of the sales tax, etc.), about half of what’s not stolen to balance the general budget is used for mass transit, leaving the roads to decay and degenerate.

I’m simply not going to support a gas tax increase, unless I know that the hulking wreck known as Georgia Avenue in Aspen Hill will be fixed, unless I know that widening of highways that need to be widened will actually be done, unless I know that the coming interchange between Georgia Avenue and Randolph Road and other projects will actually commence as promised, etc.

But with this being a corrupt, Democrat state, I wouldn’t hold my breath.


10 posted on 02/18/2012 2:18:21 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: CitizenUSA; BobL

I would question that 60% stat. I also read that Virginia’s gas tax, which was last increased in 1986 or 1987, lost half it’s value to inflation. So, you see, there is a conflict between the two stats.


11 posted on 02/18/2012 2:22:16 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

If MD were to convince enough folks to move away, the traffic problems would be solved without further investment.


12 posted on 02/18/2012 2:35:06 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
RE :”You heard the man: WE’RE DOOMED! Now shut up and open your wallets for mass transit!

Considering that gas prices are going up and will continue on their own O Malley picked a hell of a time to spring this gas tax increase. Will be interesting to see how they react to rising prices with this gas tax increase

I remember 2006 and 2007 with Marylanders bitching and moaning about high gas prices, the same ones that love this guy. Watch him announce a investigation into gas price gouging after he passes this gas tax increase. He knows no shame.
And most Maryland voters are idiots.

13 posted on 02/18/2012 2:53:08 PM PST by sickoflibs (You MUST support the lesser of two RINOs or we all die!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Just once, it would be nice if lunatics actually had to endure what they advocate right away, instead of passing the consequences off to future generations.


14 posted on 02/18/2012 2:59:46 PM PST by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be purchased and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Don’t know how accurate it is, but a web-based CPI calculator shows that it takes $1.62 now to buy the same thing as $1.00 in 1992.

http://146.142.4.24/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=1&year1=1992&year2=2012


15 posted on 02/18/2012 3:07:55 PM PST by CitizenUSA (Why celebrate evil? Evil is easy. Good is the goal worth striving for.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

16 posted on 02/18/2012 3:15:00 PM PST by 4Liberty (88% of Americans are NON-UNION. We value honest, peaceful Free trade-NOT protectionist CARTELS)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

About $15 a gallon should do it.


17 posted on 02/18/2012 3:23:03 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Tzimisce

Judging by who they elect over and over, they really do!


18 posted on 02/18/2012 3:24:11 PM PST by FerociousRabbit
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To: Tzimisce

“It’s okay - the people of Maryland love high taxes”

Not in the part of Maryland where I was raised (Carroll County). It’s crazy because, as Carroll County and the counties west were strongly Republican areas, the Democratic-dominated state legislature and the Democratic governors virtually ignored us.

Maryland’s politics are virtually controlled by three areas: Baltimore City, PG County & Montgomery County (Democratic strongholds). That’s where virtually all the state spending goes and it’s all the government in Annapolis cares about. Only when Bob Ehrlich was Governor (though he was a RINO), did Carroll County really get any glance from Annapolis.


19 posted on 02/18/2012 3:40:26 PM PST by wk4bush2004 (RICK SANTORUM 2012!)
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Tired of the disruptions? We need that new equipment!


20 posted on 02/18/2012 4:38:30 PM PST by RedMDer (Forward With Confidence!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Never mind the fact that O’Malley raided Maryland’s Transportation fund two years ago to pay for his new social programs, and now wants to raise gas taxes to try and put it back.


21 posted on 02/18/2012 4:47:16 PM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: wk4bush2004

>>>Maryland’s politics are virtually controlled by three areas: Baltimore City, PG County & Montgomery County (Democratic strongholds). That’s where virtually all the state spending goes and it’s all the government in Annapolis cares about. Only when Bob Ehrlich was Governor (though he was a RINO), did Carroll County really get any glance from Annapolis.<<

And on a differently related subject, I know at least one state - Connecticut - that had a state legislature in which one chamber was apportioned by geography and the other chamber was apportioned by population. That way, the rural areas wouldn’t constantly be on the losing end compared to the cities.

Our black-robed saviors eliminated that kind of state legislature in 1962 with a case called Reynolds vs Sims. It’s interesting to read from the dissenters in the case. Justice Harlan said the court was ignoring the original intent of the framers by imposing its own vision of government on the states; Sen. Everett Dirksen said it would leave states unbalanced, with the four million in Chicago overwhelming and ruling over the one million in 100 counties.

And here you are.

God help us.


22 posted on 02/18/2012 4:53:47 PM PST by redpoll
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To: Timber Rattler

Making Marylanders pay the 6% sales tax on Gasoline would raise the current tax 24 cents a gallon (gas at $4.00 a gallon + 6%) on top of the already exhorbitant taxes we pay on gasoline.

I believe some Marylanders would show up in Annapolis with ropes or tar and feathers.

If O’Malley hadn’t stolen the Transportation Funds to help pay for casa De Maryland and his other social projects instead of fixing our roads we would have good roads and plenty of money too.

WE need a good governor, one less in love with Homo’s,illegals, and spending.
I have heard rumors of a new day dawning when a dark horse runs for Governor in 2 years.


23 posted on 02/18/2012 5:13:43 PM PST by Venturer
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To: Paladin2

“They should just move everyone to the Agenda 21 Concentration Kamps ASAP.”

The trouble with that idea, Paladin2, is that they need massive transit, like semis and oil carriers, to move all the fat welfare mommas and their jumbo bags of chips and two liter bottles of coke to come get us.

Cheers, buddy.


24 posted on 02/18/2012 5:21:04 PM PST by sergeantdave
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
MD sales tax was raised last year, wasn't it? take more money out of the people's pockets to pay off the police, fire, teacher unions?

the largest, single employer in central MD is NSA and all the supporting contractors. government is already the biggest industry.....why would more taxes be "better" in maryland? the rest of the state? eastern MD is largely republican and largely ignored. southern MD doesn't exist to useless politicians. all that "maryland" is is baltimore city (welfare basket case), PG and Montgomery counties - government employees who don't want to live in the freefire zone which is DC. this means the political keystones for MD are all dependent on government.....of COURSE they need taxes. god forbid they get real jobs which grows jobs, grows a tax base, etc. (fyi, this is Mr. ZinGirl ranting away here while I read him the article!)

25 posted on 02/18/2012 5:33:06 PM PST by ZinGirl
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To: CitizenUSA

Good post.


26 posted on 02/18/2012 5:55:04 PM PST by DemforBush (Six o'clock in *Berlin*. They were having lunch in Cleveland.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Energy is freedom.

Statists hate cheap energy because it allows people to escape the perfectly planned societies they have set up. They need it to be expensive and available only to a few because that facilitates control. Citizen, you must obey new decree # 678A0993, under penalty of losing your monthly heat/light/transportation ration.


27 posted on 02/18/2012 6:20:43 PM PST by denydenydeny (The more a system is all about equality in theory the more it's an aristocracy in practice.)
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To: Timber Rattler

The criminal governor blew $700,000,000 from the transportation “trust” fund on “black-hole” projects (no...I’m not being racist). Now, this Freak governor complains there isn’t money in the trust fund. DUH! It is probably in your buddies’ pockets.


28 posted on 02/18/2012 6:25:39 PM PST by hal ogen (1st Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Quote: "The gas tax has not been raised in Maryland since 1992 and, because it is not indexed to inflation, it has lost roughly 60 percent of its value."

Mr. Douglas Duncan, writing for the Washington Post, here discloses which side he has taken regarding a government and the citizens who supposedly authorize that government. He is on the side of government.

Taxes, whether sales tax or gas tax, do not add value to a commodity, they reduce it. Governments already make more money on the sale of a gallon of gas than the people who risk their lives and capital to find the petroleum reserves, extract them, refine them, and deliver them to your corner service station.

For this, the industrialists make about a nickel.

Maryland is already making forty cents, and this greedy governor, whose first action, even before the normal legislative session, was to raise the sales tax, wants to increase his take by another twenty cents.

Thus Maryland would be making sixty cents per gallon, while those doing the work would get a nickel.

For this booty, the state of Maryland does nothing, other than to threaten the lives and property of those attempting to do business in this local version of the Khyber Pass and its highway robbers.

29 posted on 02/18/2012 6:32:19 PM PST by NicknamedBob (If "everybody's different" then two of them have to be the same. It's the only way to be different.)
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To: BobL

Why do you have such a hate-fest over toll roads?

The owners of such roads want to maximize their profits, so when they see that there isn’t enough capacity to meet demand, they will expand the road... unlike the government.

Plus, they keep the roads in better condition, for the same reason.

And this is what you rally against?


30 posted on 02/18/2012 7:36:42 PM PST by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: wk4bush2004

I live in Howard county... but vote in Florida, so I don’t tend to follow the local politics much.

Any idea of how Howard county tends to vote (I’m figuring Democrap, though)?


31 posted on 02/18/2012 7:41:32 PM PST by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: gogogodzilla

“Why do you have such a hate-fest over toll roads?
The owners of such roads want to maximize their profits, so when they see that there isn’t enough capacity to meet demand, they will expand the road... unlike the government.”

In that case, let them have their highways, IN THE FREE MARKET. Let them buy the land (not steal it), build the roads, and operate it, WITHOUT MONOPOLY PROTECTION (i.e., non-compete clauses).

But no, it NEVER happens that way. Instead you have AIRHEAD GOVERNORS, like the ones in Indiana and Texas, who sell out their states’ futures in return for some nice dinners and quick cash so they can brag about ‘balanced budgets’ when they run for president.

So when you can point me to FREE MARKET at work, rather than Crony Capitalist dealing, then you’ll find me more receptive. Until then I will not be any more supportive of this crap than I am of deals like Solyndra, because it’s basically the same thing.

And by the way, I’ve driven on many thousands of miles of PUBLICLY OWNED highways that were often much better than your precious toll roads.


32 posted on 02/18/2012 8:42:23 PM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Sorry Tol, that’s your call. Didn’t see who posted the article. We just differ here a bit.

For me here in Texas, if they increased the gas tax by 25 cents and still gave away one forth of that to “the schools” (as they have been doing), I’d still far prefer it over our toll road ‘solution’ of Crony Capitalism (certainly in the case of these private toll roads)...and TexDot would still have twice the amount of money to work with.


33 posted on 02/18/2012 9:04:16 PM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
You mean they won't just add a couple more lanes to the Beltway? Seriously, I bet there is a potential for improvements in rail given the population densities and the point destinations. It would require careful planning and need to be free of corruption but...oh the hell with it. That ain't gonna happen.
34 posted on 02/18/2012 10:13:27 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Total Bullshit the Gas tax pays for everything but it purpose which is to fix the roads!!!


35 posted on 02/18/2012 10:18:23 PM PST by KingNo155
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To: NicknamedBob

First of all, MD makes 23.5 cents off a gallon of gasoline, while the Fed makes 18.3 or 18.4 cents. Second, there was one regular legisl00tive session before O’Moron got his sales tax increase in a special session in the fall of 2007.


36 posted on 02/19/2012 2:55:48 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: BobL

Wouldn’t it be better for Texas to stop all those diversions to DPS, etc. first and have a Constitutional amendment to stop the diversion to the public skrools? I’m sure you can’t be too happy about teachers unions sucking money out of your gas tank.


37 posted on 02/19/2012 3:11:19 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“Yes and eating dirt isn’t really all that bad for you - we have a SCIENTIC study right here to prove it”


38 posted on 02/19/2012 4:26:22 AM PST by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“Wouldn’t it be better for Texas to stop all those diversions to DPS, etc. first and have a Constitutional amendment to stop the diversion to the public skrools? I’m sure you can’t be too happy about teachers unions sucking money out of your gas tank.”

You’re darn right...but that only gets us a nickel. We still need more like 20 cents to get enough budget to start building and expanding freeways. But yes, 5 cents is a start, and so would indexing the tax to the cost of doing the work. But when you have a toll-road driven governor, why bother taking the political heat for all that, just charge like crazy on anything new and claim it’s just for drivers paying the road (when, in truth, they’re paying for that road at least 4 times over...to make up for the lack of a realistic gas tax and other social programs).


39 posted on 02/19/2012 6:39:38 AM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: BobL

Selling pre-built highways to companies isn’t selling out the state’s future. Usually, the company only has it for a fixed duration, during which they’ll improve and expand the road based on profit and traffic (demand). Afterwards, the road reverts to state control (and all the improvements, too).

Secondly, non-competition clauses are d@#n near impossible to enforce, as it would only apply to another company buying another state road that goes to the same places as the first one. And how many states have multiple state highways lying around that are going to the exact same places? Most don’t...

As for lack of bidding for the roads in the first place... that’s the only problem I see on this and could be easily fixed if people would inundate their politicians explaining that there should be open bidding for such projects.


40 posted on 02/19/2012 7:34:07 AM PST by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: gogogodzilla

“Selling pre-built highways to companies isn’t selling out the state’s future. Usually, the company only has it for a fixed duration, during which they’ll improve and expand the road based on profit and traffic (demand). “

Fixed duration, as in 50 to 99 years. Maybe no problem for lifespan, but I’m not too hot on it. Why do they need to operate it for THAT long, if it’s an existing highway - and no, it doesn’t take that long to recover the ‘investment’ in high tech tracking and surveillance, that only takes 6 months once the tolls are doubled.

Why should they expand a crowded highway to reduce congestion? The PROFITABLE thing to do if you have a monopoly is to raise prices. It add nothing to costs, but really helps out the bottom line.

“Secondly, non-competition clauses are d@#n near impossible to enforce, as it would only apply to another company buying another state road that goes to the same places as the first one.”

You, my friend, are an IDIOT if you believe that. Those non-compete clauses apply to ANYONE, private or government, that undertakes ANY improvement to a nearby road (such as widening, and possibly repaving) that will cause traffic to leave the private highway. They are VERY EASY to enforce, as was learned the hard way in both California (SR 91 Toll Lanes) and Ontario (407 ETR). Repeating the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of...

“As for lack of bidding for the roads in the first place... that’s the only problem I see on this and could be easily fixed if people would inundate their politicians explaining that there should be open bidding for such projects.”

The private companies will not even allow their contracts to be made public, much less their proposals. They aren’t idiots, they know what kind of reaction people have when they can finally read what’s in them, and how badly they got screwed by a governor with good hair (or no hair). Obviously the governors know the same and agree to the terms. That was one of the biggest issues with the Trans Texas Corridor.


41 posted on 02/19/2012 7:56:55 AM PST by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
"First of all, MD makes 23.5 cents off a gallon of gasoline, while the Fed makes 18.3 or 18.4 cents. Second, there was one regular legisl00tive session before O’Moron got his sales tax increase in a special session in the fall of 2007."

Thank you! So the gist of what you're saying is that I was inaccurate, but not wrong.

I appreciate being corrected, however my level of disdain and disgust with the current Mayor Governor has neither increased nor decreased with the more accurate information.

42 posted on 02/19/2012 8:33:11 AM PST by NicknamedBob (If "everybody's different" then two of them have to be the same. It's the only way to be different.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks; sickoflibs
so Md gas taxes arent a percentage of price ???

around here, every penny increase in price at the pump is a defacto tax increase IIRC...

if it were required, or better yet *allowed* [as i bet the fuel companies cant post the stats] to be posted on the pump how much tax was already layered on, pitchforks and torches would prolly already have happened...

43 posted on 02/19/2012 3:55:54 PM PST by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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