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Opinion Maryland’s suspension of its gas tax

Gas prices on March 12 at a gas station in Timonium, Md. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Regarding the March 19 Metro article “Citing high prices, state officials suspend gas tax for a month”:

Recently, The Post reported that Maryland and Georgia have temporarily suspended their gas taxes. These are two states with which I’m very familiar, as I was a transportation economist for the Georgia Department of Transportation and at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Maryland’s situation is particularly ironic.

Several years ago, the legislature instituted not one but two inflation measures to increase the gas tax along with inflation, thereby adding to inflation. Instead of acting as our representatives and making tough decisions, legislators put taxation on automatic pilot. Now, the gas tax is doing exactly what was intended: increasing tax revenue dramatically to the transportation trust fund during a period of high inflation. The legislature now wants to provide gas tax relief. It would provide the same relief that affluent Tesla owners already have: No tax for using roads in Maryland except that Tesla owners have permanent relief, but low- and modest-income motorists get only temporary relief.

After the 30 days are up, what will the legislature do when the gas tax escalates in July, as it is scheduled to do?

Z. Andrew Farkas, Silver Spring

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