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Amid rising gas prices, bill aims to freeze state-wide gas tax rates

Posted at 5:06 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 18:35:10-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — By now, we all know the prices at the pump are soaring to record numbers by the day. As the pain at the pump continues, so do talks in Annapolis surrounding an emergency bill aimed at a freezing fuel tax rates.

“I was upset I drove all around the city I was not paying for it. No, I was upset. I was upset,” said Unique Garrett outside of a Baltimore gas station.

Some like Garrett will say it out loud while others show you by the l all over their face..

As prices go up, talks at the Maryland State House aim to bring the tax rate on gas back down to earth a bit.

RELATED: Maryland leaders call for emergency suspension of gas tax

"Our effort is to try to stop the automatic gas tax increases that take place every year in Maryland tied to inflation that was passed in 2013,” Senator Justin Ready explained.

Every year on July 1, the state raises the gas tax by the rate of inflation.

It never has to have a vote in the General Assembly according to the current state laws.

The bill ready sponsored would repeal that process.

"Its basically an automatic gas tax increase every year without a vote of your elected officials and we think that should stop,” Ready said.

Ready says he would settle for a pause in the practice but would prefer a dead end to it which is why he proposed Senate Bill 737.

As it stands now, the tax increase on July 1 is likely to reach its cap of 8 percent which would hit the wallet of tax payers by the end of the summer.

The state already taxes gas at 36 cents per gallon..

"You combine it with the federal gas taxes which is an 18 cent federal gas tax, over 50 cents a gallon is gas tax you’re paying at the pump,” said Ready.

While folks like Unique haven't reviewed the ins and outs of the bill, she says she's open to any ideas that will give her a break at the pump including Senate Bill 737.

“It has my full attention, my full undivided attention not my full attention my full undivided attention,” Garrett said.

WMAR-2 News has learned Governor Hogan and Senator McCray are working on a bill that would pause the gas tax for 2 weeks.

It’s expected to be introduced Friday.