Governor Larry Hogan – Official Website of the Governor of Maryland

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Annapolis, MD—Ahead of the summer travel season, Governor Larry Hogan today instructed Comptroller Peter Franchot to take immediate action to halt or minimize the impact of the legislative gas tax increase his office is to announce in the next few days.

Under legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2013, the Comptroller announces gasoline tax increases by June 1 each year to take effect July 1. The tax increase is calculated by the Comptroller’s Office.

“This tax increase, while creating hardship for Marylanders at all times, is simply unconscionable at a time when gas prices are already at their highest level in recorded history amid a period of prolonged inflation and economic uncertainty,” Governor Hogan wrote in a letter. to the controller. “I know you agree that we should be doing more to give Marylanders a break from these punitive prices. That’s why I hope you’ll use all the legal and regulatory powers at your disposal to stop or minimize the impact of accelerating gasoline taxes, and consider granting an extension for the payment of taxes and remove penalties for unpaid taxes, including revocation of business licenses.

Past controller actions. In the letter, the Governor notes that the Comptroller has been a strong advocate for protecting the people of Maryland from rising gas prices, and points out that in the past the Comptroller has taken steps to protect the people of Maryland of impending tax deadlines and charges. In January of this year, for example, Comptroller Franchot extended for the third consecutive year the due date for filing and payment of personal income tax, as well as the estimated due dates for the payment of personal income tax, in order to give “breathing room” to the inhabitants of Maryland who were experiencing financial difficulties. .

“Given volatile oil markets, record inflation, and skyrocketing cost of living, continued spikes in gas prices are inflicting more pain at the pump than Marylanders can bear. “, writes the governor. “I ask that you take immediate action to provide much needed relief, especially as the citizens of our state begin to plan their summer trips.”

Also of note, in 2015 the General Assembly rejected the Governor’s legislation to permanently suspend inflation-indexed gasoline tax increases. In the 2022 session, the General Assembly did not act on measures to repeal part of the tax (SB0337/HB0144) and suspend increases until 2024 (HB1191/SB0737).

Read the letter to Comptroller Franchot, the full text of which is below:

Dear Franchot controller,

If I understand correctly, you will soon be announcing significant increases in Maryland’s fuel tax. This tax increase, while creating hardship for Marylanders at all times, is simply unconscionable at a time when gasoline prices are already at their highest level in recorded history amid a period of prolonged inflation and economic uncertainty.

I know you agree that we should be doing more to give Marylanders a break from these punishing prices. That’s why I hope you’ll use all the legal and regulatory powers at your disposal to stop or minimize the impact of accelerating gasoline taxes, and consider granting an extension for the payment of taxes and remove penalties for unpaid taxes, including revocation of business licenses. This would be consistent with similar actions you have recently taken when you perceive various state laws to be too burdensome for the people of Maryland; for example, in January of this year, you extended the due date for filing and payment of personal income tax for the third consecutive year, as well as the estimated due dates for the payment of personal income tax, to give “breathing room” to Marylanders who were experiencing financial difficulties.

In 2015, I proposed legislation to permanently halt gas tax increases, which was unfortunately short-sightedly rejected by the General Assembly. It was even more regrettable when the General Assembly failed to pass legislation to prevent further gasoline tax increases in the 2022 session – long before the current inflation crisis – despite plans to proposed legislation to repeal part of the tax (SB0337 and HB0144) and to suspend increases until 2024 (HB1191 and SB0737).

These failures compel your office to step in and take action to help struggling Marylanders. After consulting with state budget and transportation officials, I am confident that the state can absorb the financial impact of waiving this ill-conceived and untimely tax increase. With shaky oil markets, record inflation and skyrocketing cost of living, continued spikes in gas prices are inflicting more pain at the pump than Marylanders can bear. I ask that you take immediate action to provide much needed relief, especially as the citizens of our state begin to plan their summer trips.

Sincerely,

larry hogan
Governor

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