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Maryland's gas tax now 4th highest in the nation

Gas Tax
Bethany Raja
/
Maryland consumers will have to pay 19.4 percent more in gas taxes this year, according to state law.

Baltimore resident Sharon Ford usually budgets about $40 each week to gas up her beloved mustang but higher gas prices means she’s been spending upwards of $55 to fill her tank.

“It’s so costly,” Ford said outside a gas station Friday afternoon. “Gas is really hard on my pocket. I don’t know what they think people are going to do. I mean, you’ve got to go to work and you’ve got to the market.”

For now, she’s been planning her outings carefully and expects to drive just once a week to save money.

“They need to fix this,” Ford said.

Maryland’s state gas tax jumped by 19.4 percent on July 1 from 36 cents to nearly 43 cents per gallon.

That's the third highest gas tax in the nation behind Pennsylvania, California and Washington.

The automatic gas tax hike is tied to inflation and generates revenue for the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund used to finance the maintenance of roads, highways and mass transportation systems throughout the state.

Residents across the state are spending 20 percent of their monthly income at the pump, according to the state Comptroller’s office.

State leaders approved a 30-day pause on gas taxes in mid-March which ended in mid-April. But there’s been no Special Session scheduled to take up the issue since then.

Gas Station
Maryland's higher gas tax went into effect on July 1.

President Joe Biden has pressured Congress to pause the federal gas tax of 18 cents to no avail.

For Shanay Thomas, she feels stuck.

“There’s nothing we can do,” she said. “We don’t travel too much. We’re going to fill up and make it last.”

The average cost of regular gasoline across Maryland is $4.77 per gallon compared to about $3 just a year ago, according to AAA data. The national average is $4.80 per gallon up from $3.12 per gallon last year.

Baltimore native Donovan Fletcher said he doles out $110 each time he needs to fill his tank.

“I literally drive my car all the way down until it gets to E,” Fletcher said.

Bethany Raja is WYPR's City Hall Reporter
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