Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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 ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: dougduncan; gastax; highways; idiot; infrastructure; montgomerycounty; roads; taxandspend; taxincrease; transit; transportation
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-43 last
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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-43 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson