Gas Station Owners Put Up Signs in Protest of Gas Tax Increase

FREDERICK, MD - You may have noticed signs outside some gas stations in Maryland protesting the gas tax increase.

"I put the banner up because Senator Young and Delegate Clagett were the only two representatives from Western Maryland to vote for this gas tax increase," says Joe Parsley, owner of the Frederick Shell Car Wash.

Dave Beall owns the Rosemont Service Station and put the banner up, along with the Frederick Sunoco on Route 40. Parsley and Beall want to let people know the about the gas tax increase that's going into effect on July 1st.

"This is taxation without representation because this tax will just go up forever based on the consumer price index," Parsley says.

Parsley and Beall are afraid people won't be pumping gas at their stations when the gas tax goes into effect with Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia nearby.

"We have already felt the effect with the different taxes that went into effect with the tobacco, with the alcohol, and now it's going to be the gas tax," Beall says. "We've seen constantly our business drop off every time another one of our products are taxed."

Delegate Clagett says now was the right time to increase the gas tax, which hasn't gone up since 1992.

"If you don't have the state money in the bucket, then you're not eligible for the federal money, so we were under the gun to get some money in place so that on the next wave, we would be eligible," Clagett (D-Frederick) says.

Clagett also says he was able to bring transportation money to Frederick.

"I was able to negotiate the interchange at 15 and Monocacy Boulevard," Clagett says. "It's number one on the governor's list. It's $82 million, and my feeling was this will produce a lot of jobs for Frederick."

The sales tax on gas will go up about four cents this July, another eight cents by July 2015, and an additional eight cents by July 2016.

"It's just driving more business out of Maryland rather than bringing it into Maryland," Beall says. "They're trying to bring up the revenue, but if the business decreases, that means a decrease in revenue also."

Governor Martin O'Malley's office says the state plans to spend $4.4 billion from gas tax revenue over the next six years.

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