Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, and other legislative leaders have agreed to a suspension of the state’s gas tax for 30 days in an attempt to slow the rise of gas prices after they jumped to historic highs of more than $4 per gallon for the first time since 2008.
In a joint statement, Maryland state House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson stated that the bill to halt the Maryland’s gas tax temporarily comes as new state revenue projections increased by $1.6 million for the current and upcoming fiscal year, giving lawmakers the “flexibility to provide immediate relief to families.”
“This swift action will help ease the financial burden on everyday Marylanders while keeping the pressure on Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs who have enabled him,” the lawmakers noted.
The emergency legislation comes amid news that gas prices in Maryland currently average around $4.30 per gallon, according to AAA, with state taxes adding an additional 37 cents per gallon.
The bill is expected to end up on Hogan’s desk for signature within days. A spokesman for the governor confirmed that he expects to sign it next week.
“This report further proves that we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance substantial tax relief for our families, small businesses, and retirees,” Hogan said in a statement on Thursday, March 10th. “People across the country are being squeezed by surging inflation on everything from gas to groceries — Marylanders, especially our retirees, deserve and need this relief.”
Today I am announcing that, at this time of global uncertainty, we are working on an emergency suspension of the gas tax to help with the pain at the pump. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/BMwZzWILYB
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) March 10, 2022
The push for suspension of the gas tax at both the state and federal level is getting stronger as prices at the pump continue to rise. The federal gas tax currently stands at 18.4 cents per gallon, and the average state tax is roughly 31 cents, according to AAA.
Governors from six states — Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — have already called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax through the end of 2022.
“Money saved at the pump translates into dollars back in consumers’ pockets for groceries, childcare, rent, and more,” the governors wrote in a letter that was sent to senior members of Congress.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in at least 15 other state legislatures across the country have begun discussing legislation that would either temporarily suspend, reduce, or freeze state gas taxes.
Among them is newly-elected Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who has pushed for a one-year gas tax suspension in an attempt to provide “relief” to consumers in the state.”
Youngkin laid out his plan in an appearance on Fox News on Thursday, March 10th, stating: “This is a big moment for us to recognize that the average American family is really, really hurting right now.”