Maryland enacts 30-day gas tax suspension

Maryland became the first state in the nation Friday to enact a temporary suspension of its gas tax, in an effort to curb rising prices at the pump.

Gov. Larry Hogan signed emergency legislation declaring a 30-day gas tax holiday following its unanimous approval by the Maryland House and Senate. The pause on Maryland’s gas tax of 36 cents per gallon, effective immediately, means a driver with a 12-gallon tank would save about $4.32 a fill-up.

“This, of course, is not going to be a cure-all,” Hogan said at a bill signing ceremony on Friday afternoon. “Market instability will continue to lead to fluctuations in prices, but we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to provide immediate relief for Marylanders.”

The measure emerged as governors and state lawmakers around the country have been calling to suspend gas taxes amid skyrocketing prices that could surge even higher after a federal moratorium on Russian oil imports in condemnation of its attack on Ukraine.

House Speaker Adrienne Jones called the import ban a necessary step to counter Russian aggression abroad, and said the tax holiday served as a reminder that Maryland is part of an interconnected economy.

“Suspending the gas tax for 30 days is part of a larger, unified global response to help deter Russia’s growing aggression,” Jones said. “This legislation won’t just provide a little relief at the pump and help stabilize our economy, it also counters Vladimir Putin’s escalation and holds him accountable for his reprehensible attack on Ukraine.”

At the Shell station on 6th Street, in Annapolis, the price of regular gas went from $4.29 to $3.93 with the flip of a switch. That was good news for Jen Gaynor, of Catonsville, who said gas prices have made her commute “pretty brutal.”

Lewis Bloom, of Crownsville, was filling up his tank, saying, “The extra savings will help pay for groceries and utilities.”

Simon Clark, of Eastport, said he needs a big truck for his construction work, and filling it up went down from $100 to between $70 and $80 almost instantly.

WTOP’s Valerie Bonk and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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