New gas tax hits drivers in Maryland, Virginia

If you’re heading out of town this weekend, you may notice a jump in gas prices, due to new gas taxes in Maryland and Virginia.

In Maryland, the new gas tax will set you back an additional 7 cents per gallon — due an automatic increase due to 2013 legislation based on the consumer price index.

Drivers in Virginia will pay 3 cents more per gallon.

Both increases took effect July 1.

Meanwhile, Sheetz is cutting gas prices across all of its locations well below the national and local averages to help drivers get through Independence Day travel.

The convenience store chain, with over 500 locations across the mid-Atlantic, said it will offer unleaded fuel from $3.99 to $3.49 per gallon through July 5 — well below the national average of $4.84 per gallon, according to AAA.

The gas tax has been at the center of political debates in both Maryland in Virginia.

In Maryland, where lawmakers this past spring approved a 30-day gas tax holiday, Comptroller Peter Franchot, who’s running for the Democratic nomination for governor, called on the General Assembly to delay the seven-cent increase and for another gas tax holiday.

Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan also supports temporarily suspending the gas tax again and called on state lawmakers to take action before the July 4 holiday.

In Virginia, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin tried to push through a three-month tax suspension through a budget amendment but it was defeated by the Democratic-controlled State Senate earlier this month.

Democrats argued the tax break would benefit out-of-state drivers and oil companies more than Virginia drivers and would hurt state transportation projects that rely on the tax revenue.

At the federal level, President Joe Biden called on Congress to suspend gas and diesel taxes for three months.

WTOP staff contributed to this report.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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