Gas Tax Issue High Priority for Md. Lawmakers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Gas Tax Issue High Priority for Md. Lawmakers

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ANNAPOLIS, Md.- The General Assembly kicked off its 2013 session on Wednesday in Maryland.

One of the biggest issues facing the state this year is a potential gas tax increase. Sen. Richard Colburn, an Eastern Shore Republican, said taxing Marylanders more is not the answer.

"The gas tax is meant to pay for highways and bridges to build new highways and bridges and to maintain highways and bridges. That's the problem in Maryland. We have identified a need for a new Dover Bridge but we can't identify the need for a gas tax increase," Colburn said.

Eastern Shore Del. Michael Smigiel, a Republican, also opposes any gas tax increase. He said it will send Marylanders over the edge.

"What happens is everyone in Maryland lives within 40 miles of another state so they will drive to Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania. They will buy gas, milk, eggs, cigarettes wine and you lose all that additional revenue locally," Smigiel said.

Jonathan Reddick drives nearly 100 miles a day to and from work. He said if gas is going to cost him more, he will head for a neighboring state.

"I try to be my gas and everything in Delaware and Virginia because there are no taxes," Reddick said.

It's being said the money from the tax increase will go toward Maryland transportation costs and highways and bridges.

Britta Streit of Annapolis said she will not mind an increase because drivers need working roads and bridges.

"It's going to affect people trying to get to work," Streit said.

For now, lawmakers are getting down to work debating a wide range of issues, including the controversial gas tax.

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