By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The Maryland Senate this week will consider a House-approved proposal to raise the state's tax on gasoline, even as states such as Virginia have recently questioned the long-term value of tying transportation funding to fuel consumption.
Maryland lost the most residents in the mid-Atlantic between 2007 and 2010 — and many of them moved to Virginia, according to a study released Tuesday.
Maryland Democrats and Republicans rarely see eye to eye on state budget matters and much of the acrimony stems from their very different understandings of a simple three-letter word: "cut."
A percentage sales tax on gas would accomplish that goal, but it still leaves open the possibility of diminishing returns with the rise of fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuels, said Neil Bergsman, director of the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute.
"It's not a big problem yet," he said. "The next time we need an infusion of transportation money they'll need to do something different, but the right thing now is to rely on the gas tax one more time."