Md. could see savings at the pump, if gas tax holiday bill is enacted
MARYLAND – Marylanders could be saving some cash at the pump pretty soon, if a gas tax holiday bill is signed into law. The bill would waive the gas tax that everyone in the state must pay each time they fuel up for a 30-day period.
The bill received a favorable report with amendments in the House Ways and Means Committee. Although Marylanders would probably be saving just a few dollars each time they fuel up, Delegate Wayne Hartman says those savings can quickly add up. “It’s really hitting every Maryland family. If they don’t have a vehicle, products they’re buying are actually affected by the gas prices. So, this is something that affects everyone,” he said.
However, Del. Hartman says he was hoping to see Maryland’s legislature to do more for those strapped for cash. He says Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee floated a 90-day gas tax holiday. However, the majority party wouldn’t budge on 30 days.
Another concern of Del. Hartman, is whether or not station owners would pocket the difference during the gas tax holiday. “The Comptroller’s Office, unfortunately, answered that there really is no way to make sure that this is passed on. However, knowing how our open market and competition is, I feel that with so much awareness from the public as to when this is going to happen, people should see an immediate reduction in gas prices,” he said.
Del. Hartman says another important issue to keep an eye on is making sure gas stations aren’t left with a surplus of gas, and losses in their accounts. “If you get your shipment on Sunday, and the gas tax comes in on Monday, that station is going to be stuck with this fuel at the higher prices. So, you may see that discrepancy in price.”
The Ways and Means Committee added an amendment to the bill that would monitor the level of prices at the start and end of the gas tax holiday. An adjustment would be made based off of those numbers. “This should be able to start and stop equally for every station during that 30-day period,” said Del. Hartman.
The bill is now onto a second reading. It would go into effect upon enactment.