Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s five-year transportation proposal will go before a House hearing March 15.
On March 4, the governor, a Democrat, unveiled the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act. If approved, HB 1515 would generate an additional $3.4 billion for state highway and transit projects.
The proposal would impose a new 2 percent motor fuel sales and equivalent use-tax rate on motor fuels’ retail price, minus existing federal and state motor fuels taxes. That tax would begin July 1, increase to 4 percent in 2014 and 6 percent in 2015, if federal law has not taken effect that would permit states to require out-of-state sellers to collect state sales and use tax on sales to in-state buyers.
If a federal law does become effective and permits states to require out-of-state sellers to collect sales and use tax on in-state buyers, then the sales and use tax equivalent rate will remain at 4 percent. The sales and use tax equivalent rate is based on the average annual retail price of the motor fuel.
Additionally, the bill would reduce state tax on gas from 23.5 to 18.5 cents per gallon and index it to the Consumer Price Index. It also would phase-in state sales tax on wholesale gas prices at 2 percent July 1, which would increase to 4 percent in 2014.