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Protesters Decry Motor Fuel Tax at Lutherville-Timonium Gas Stations

Grassroots effort aims to spread awareness and incite public action.

Members and supporters of Americans for Prosperity and Campaign for Liberty came out Saturday to , and gas stations in Lutherville-Timonium for a grassroots effort to fight a proposed increase in the state gas tax.

“We’re trying to get community support because this is a tax that affects everyone at all levels,” said Tom Katzenberger of Americans for Prosperity as he proudly waved a sign reading “No New Gas Taxes.”

Americans for Prosperity is a group that advocates for smaller government, lower taxes and free markets.

Led by Del. Ann Kaiser, a Montgomery County Democrat, the bill would increase the state motor fuel tax by 20 cents a gallon. If passed, an initial increase of 10 cents per gallon would go into effect on July 1. The remaining 10 cents would be phased in with a 2 cents per gallon increase every six months over the next two years. 

So far, the demonstrators have been pleased with the public response. In one hour, Bob Date, also of Americans for Prosperity, claimed to have gotten 100 people to sign a petition protesting the bill.

“People are extremely receptive,” Date said. “They know that cutting spending is where we need to go.”

However, the initiative is not without its dissenters.

Despite receiving many honks of approval from passing vehicles on York Road, those opposing the campaign made their voices heard as well, including one motorist who screamed “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” through his car window.

This did not deter Patrick Hussey of Campaign for Liberty, a group that, like Americans for Prosperity, advocates for smaller government, less government debt and a free market economy and associates itself with the Tea Party movement.

“We’re here to protest the waste and abuse of taxpayer money,” he said. Pointing to his 6-year-old son James, he continued, “I’m here for this guy and his future.”

The two groups hope to continue with their campaign with an upcoming community meeting at the Catonsville Library with Kaiser in the next ten days.

“The whole goal is to raise awareness to what the general assembly is doing about gas taxes,” said Steve Bailey, co-chairman of the Baltimore County chapter of Americans for Prosperity. “Maryland’s looking for a way to raise taxes and the people don’t want that. They need the government to be responsible for managing the budget.”

Jim March 06, 2011 at 02:19 PM
Why don't we raise the taxes on all politicians and public officials? Oh, better yet we should cut their pay and limit terms to one 4-year term and when they are out all perks and benefits and retirement benefits stop.
miriam k. March 06, 2011 at 05:08 PM
While I do not object to a dedicated Gas Tax for road improvements,the General assembly raids the Gas Tax fund to balance the budget. Put back the money taken by both the O'malley and the Ehrlich Administrations from the prior Gas taxes surpluses ! The Republican and Democrats are equally culpable Miriam
Karl Pfrommer March 07, 2011 at 01:35 PM
Amen Miriam, State government has been using revenues from the Transportation Trust Fund, and other dedicated funds to curry favor with their political supporters for years. Since Paris Glendenning, governors and legislators have been under funding the state pension system so they can give money to delegates' favorite charities and create money sucking boondoggles like Rocky Gap State Park. Now O'Malley wants to create a $100 million Venture Trust Fund to award money to politically favored start up businesses. Next O'Malley wants to add additional taxes to everyone's power bills to finance an ocean windmill boondoggle for one of his former aids. Wind can never compete with coal and other power sources. Can we compete with government give aways? Karl
mike gardiner March 07, 2011 at 05:57 PM
I would support a tax increase if it is dedicated 100% to fixing roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure and not to balance the budget.
Trish D March 07, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Mike - you wouldn't need a tax increase to fix the roads if the Governor's would stop raiding the Transportation Trust Fund to pay for there pet projects. This tax increase will cost you and all the great citizens of Maryland a whole lot more than 10 cents a gallon, any goods that are transported on Maryland roads will increase in costs. Can you afford a 15% increase in your expenditures? Because that's what we are talking about, and than those same goods that the cost increased on will be taxed again on the sales tax end. Open your eyes Maryland you already give (get robbed) about 45 cents for every dollar you earn to the government, can you really afford more????

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