Maryland, Virginia governors renew pleas for gas tax relief

Sparked by President Joe Biden’s call for gas tax relief, the governors of both Maryland and Virginia renewed their calls for suspending their state’s gas taxes on Wednesday.

Following the president’s remarks calling on Congress to temporarily suspend federal gas taxes and states to follow suit on their own gas taxes, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan praised the president’s effort.

“With the pain at the pump only getting worse, Congress should act immediately to suspend the federal gas tax,” Hogan said in a news release.

Hogan again asked Democratic leaders in the Maryland General Assembly to open a special session to pass an emergency bill to suspend the gas tax. He also asked the state comptroller to use his authority to minimize the impact of the gas tax increase, scheduled for July 1.

“There is no reason why we cannot come together and get this done before the July 4th holiday to provide much-needed relief for the crushing costs burdening families and businesses,” Hogan said.

However, the top Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly — Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones — quickly rejected the idea.

In a joint statement, Ferguson and Jones said that Maryland already had a gas tax holiday in the spring, which was the first in the nation. They said Maryland should not bear the burden of higher prices driven partly by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and the corporate greed of oil companies.

Meanwhile, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a tweet that Biden’s call to suspend gas taxes shows that Virginia’s Democratic state senators are “out of step with everyday people.” 

Youngkin tried to push through the three-month tax suspension with a budget amendment, but it was defeated by the state Senate.

In a second tweet, Youngkin called state senate Democrats’ decision to block his gas tax holiday proposal for a third time “astonishing.” 

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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