Baltimore And Harford County Delegates Call For Special Session As State Gas Tax Increase Looms


Credit: Renee Schiavone/Patch

BALTIMORE COUNTY - Maryland drivers face an imminent financial pinch as the state gas tax is set to increase by over 10% to 47 cents per gallon starting on July 1. This notable increase, spurred by inflation and spiraling fuel costs, has drawn condemnation from northern Maryland's state delegates.

In response to the startling tax increase, Baltimore County Delegate Kathy Szeliga has called for a one-day special session dedicated solely to repealing the gas tax increases.

"I urge the leadership in Annapolis to call a one-day special session limited to repealing the gas tax increases," Szeliga said in a statement. "We are taxed enough already."

In 2013, Maryland's legislature passed the first gas tax hike in over two decades. The annual increases, taking effect every July 1, were tied to inflation in an attempt to avoid political backlash. At the time, inflation rates rarely experienced significant change year-to-year, but as we all know, that has changed.

In 2022, Marylanders experienced a 6.7 cents per gallon increase in fuel cost, meaning the gas tax rate has surged by nearly 30% over the past two years. The collected tax goes directly into a dedicated fund for financing statewide roads and highway projects.

The new gas tax rates set to go into effect on July 1. (Credit: Maryland State Comptrollers Office)

Maryland Matters reports that this year's increase will leave Maryland with the fourth-highest gas tax in the U.S., surpassed only by California, Pennsylvania, and Washington State. Among Mid-Atlantic states, the gas tax ranks as the second highest.

Szeliga is joined by Harford County delegate Lauren Arikan and Baltimore County's Ryan Nawrocki in calling for an end to the gas tax hikes. The delegates have already cosponsored bills and repeatedly voted against the tax increase.

Delegate Nawrocki expressed his regrets that this issue was not tackled during the 2023 session and advocated for a united legislative effort to address a problem that, in his view, Republicans have been trying to solve for a decade.

Delegate Arikan said he hopes a special session will be called to end the gas tax increases.

"I urge the people of Maryland to contact the Governor, House Speaker Jones, and Senate President Ferguson to call the legislature into a special session. This inane tax must end," Arikan said.

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