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Gas Tax Opponents Press Their Point

Petition effort continues despite uncertain future of the proposal in the Maryland General Assembly.

Opponents of a continue their efforts to defeat the bill in the court of public opinion.

Protesters gathered along Route 40 and Winters Lane to wave signs at passing motorists and collect signatures on petitions at three gas stations along the intersection.

The gathering Saturday morning in Catonsville was the latest in a number of such rallies this year organized by the Baltimore County chapter of Americans for Prosperity. The group advocates for smaller government.

Hafiz Habib, owner of the BP and Gulf stations at the intersection, said he supports Gov. Martin O'Malley but opposes the gas tax.

"He does a good job for Maryland but this bill is not good for Maryland," Habib said.

O'Malley has proposed a 6 percent sales tax on gas. The money raised would go toward transportation projects.

The fate of the bill is uncertain and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said the bill may not see a vote until late in the session.

If passed, Habib said the new tax would hurt his business.

"Business is down," Habib said. "Higher taxes will drive business down. Gas prices are already very high. People don't have jobs and no income and can't afford the high (price of) gas."

Not everyone who passed through the intersection supported the group's efforts.

One man who pulled away before identifying himself, drove through a gas station parking lot to yell at the protestors.

"We live in a civilized society and we pay taxes," the man yelled from his Subaru Outback. "If you dont want to pay taxes, move to Haiti."

Paul Amirault March 05, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Continued ...... --> This building code has been getting stricter every year. The latest revisions include higher insulation values and fire sprinklers in single family housing. I can't speak for every homebuilder, but the homes built today are of better quality than the homes built 30-50 years ago. There are exceptions, but as a general rule, today's homes are more energy efficient. Lastly, you asked to see a high quality development in Perry Hall. I suggest you visit the community of Shadowcreek in Perry Hall. It is just north of the intersection of Bangert and Forge Haven. Sorry for the long post.
Computer Techy March 05, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Wow. What a waste of time reading all this nonsense. Bottom line, toss them all out, reduce the size of government and their spending. Stop with all the tax. 1776 will repeat itself if government doesn't wake up. Like then, people are tired of being robbed!
Buck Harmon March 05, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Paul, We should create a blog that could fully address the issue of housing for the masses. I come from a background of 36 years of historic restoration experience and have studied the new housing market intensely as a side line. I have restored homes for 2 VP's at KCI, a nationwide development engineering firm, and fully understand the process. It really doesn't matter how many different professional entities participate in the illusion... bottom line is that during your timeline of involvement, the VAST majority of families that purchased new homes in perceived affordable developments got screwed by design.Many,if not most of these home purchases were made by first time home buyers... young couples , with small children, just starting out. You are RIGHT Paul, these homes were priced based on getting the maximum amount that the geographic location would warrant, and had very little to do with the quality or materials that were used. The larger, more successful the developer/builder, the broader the grey zone of walking the bottom line regarding minimum code requirements. This gas tax blog is probably not the place to continue the housing debate, but I would challenge both you and Patch to an in depth, fact filled debate with regard to this very important topic. Homes built to minimum requirements, sold for maximum dollars have literally broken the backs of thousands of young couples just starting out. Not at all something to be proud of. We can do better.
Buck Harmon March 05, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I look forward to a repeat of 1776....long overdue...
Richard Hiteshew March 05, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Just an observation. the first refuge of scoundrels and despites alike is to attack the messenger regardless of the source or facts. It is the facts that matter, not who brought them forth. As long as they are true, that's the important thing. The Governer of Maryland has very broad discretions of spendning of funds. If the Governer has a likeminded House Speaker and leader in the Maryland Senate, we essentially have a three person Government. Remember, four of the richest counties in America are in the state fo Maryland. By any means, it is not a poor state; therefore, a "we can afford it" attitude prevails amoung Legislators. That's the way it is in Maryland, like it or not. As for the price of gasoline, I have several observations. The price of gasoline in Europe has no relevence anymore than the price of gasoline in Madagascar. I've been to Europe many times, and the countries are very different. My wife could always find me on Avenue St. Michael. That's because I along with many Germans and Scandinavians am at least a foot taller than most Frenchmen. My fourteen year old daughter was taller than anyone in the family where we stayed. Frenchmen and Italians and other Europeans can fit in these small cars. At 6' 2", I cannot fit in a new smart car along with many small cars on the market today.

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