I continue to be impressed with Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and his maneuvering toward the 2014 gubernatorial contest. With the redistricting “battle” behind us and the special legislative session of the General Assembly adjourned, all attention has shifted to the upcoming regular session and the question of tax increases. A panel convened by Gov. Martin O’Malley and tasked with identifying new revenue streams to pay for transportation infrastructure improvements has endorsed a 15-cent-a-gallon increase in the state’s gas tax. It also endorsed significant increases in automobile titling and registration fees and a doubling of the vehicle emissions inspection fee. Not to be outdone, a state task force is considering doubling and then tripling the state’s so-called “flush tax” from its current $30 per year to $90 by 2015.
In response to these proposals, Franchot has called for a two-year freeze on all new taxes and fees to “give businesses and consumers time to catch their breath.”
A few months ago, Franchot made headlines arguing that Maryland needed to be less reliant on the federal sector for job creation. I said at the time that it was a smart move and showed Franchot was trying to position himself as the conservative option in a Democratic gubernatorial primary that is likely to feature two well-known, and progressive, Democrats — Attorney General Doug Gansler and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
[Continue reading Todd Eberly’s post at The FreeStater Blog.]
Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.