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NEWS
March 13, 2012
Over the past month, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has increased 25 cents in Maryland. As far as anyone can tell, the motorists of this state received no particular benefit from the change in price - aside from a lighter wallet or purse. Gasoline prices may rise higher yet, as they often do in the summer months when demand increases. Or, if the political tensions with Iran and its nuclear program dissipate, prices may actually go down as fear of supply interruptions diminishes.
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BUSINESS
By Kevin Rector and The Baltimore Sun | September 25, 2014
The nation's transportation system is broken, agreed a panel of transportation wonks gathered in downtown Baltimore on Thursday, but they could not agree on how to fix it. "Transportation is broken. There's no way to fund it. America is one big pothole," said Ray LaHood, a former U.S. transportation secretary. "It will be up to the American people to say enough is enough. " Opinions for fixing it at the Greater Baltimore Committee's seventh annual transportation summit ranged from increasing federal investment in local infrastructure projects that would help address broader issues to cutting all federal investment in such projects to focus on national highway needs instead.
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NEWS
September 8, 2010
President Barack Obama's call for spending an additional $50 billion on transportation was quickly dismissed by Republicans as more of the same old economic stimulus. They could not be more wrong. If there was a valid criticism to be made of the first stimulus package, it was that not enough was invested in the nation's infrastructure needs. What Mr. Obama is proposing is not some wild-eyed liberal spending scheme but the kind of basic investment that Washington should be making whether today's unemployment is 9.8 percent or 2.8 percent.
NEWS
March 7, 2014
In its "Winter 2014 Red Line Update," the Maryland Transit Administration revealed that its plan for funding the Red Line includes a "contribution" from Baltimore of up to 20 percent of the $2.8 billion current projected cost of the project ( "Cost for Red, Purples lines increase, even as major funding is proposed," March 5). In other words, city taxpayers can look forward to an additional tax burden of as much as $500 million for a project that very few citizens believe is necessary or desirable.
NEWS
April 6, 2012
With regard to Maryland's gas tax or any sales tax increase devoted to the same purpose, we don't trust Gov.Martin O'Malley, his successor or subsequent successors ("O'Malley looks at sales tax increase for roads," April 4). The transportation fund has been raided in the past, and we have no guarantees that it will not be raided in the future. If more revenue is needed to maintain our transportation infrastructure, I think most people would have no real problem with an increase in gas taxes - if the money raised was used for only transportation.
NEWS
June 7, 2013
The commentary "Put people ahead of cars" (June 5) was very stimulating and well written. I have been saying something similar for years. I do believe the focus is a little misdirected. While all the author's points are valid, and I have great respect to for them, I think it might be a little off. The auto is isn't going away. The percentage of people interested in biking to work is very small. The focus of the piece is to put infrastructure to accommodate transit, biking and walking where the people are. I would suggest we might be better by turning that equation upside down and putting people where the infrastructure and population centers already exist.
EXPLORE
April 8, 2013
The March 28 edition of the Howard County Times had an editorial concerning the General Assembly's increase in the gas tax. It was noted that the Transportation Trust Fund's "lockbox" isn't very securely locked. The accompanying editorial cartoon indicated that the Times believes that diversion of funds from the lockbox is a question of "when," not "if. " One wonders how long it will before elected officials propose non-transportation use of the funds. Let's see - that would be immediately after passing the bill.
NEWS
February 24, 1998
This is an excerpt of a Chicago Tribune editorial that appeare Sunday.BALANCING the federal budget will prove a fleeting accomplishment if it is done by short-changing the economic engine that made the balancing possible.Yet that's the boneheaded trade-off that the Clinton administration and congressional leaders seem bent on when it comes to the nation's transportation network.A false economyUnder a feel-good budget agreement that the two sides reached last fall, it was decided to keep stashing away billions of dollars JTC in federal motor-fuel taxes rather than spend the money as originally intended -- on highways, bridges and mass-transit systems.
EXPLORE
February 24, 2012
The wolf has now shed his sheep's clothing. Keeping with traditional politics, Gov. O'Malley has proposed his mid-term huge tax increase package as part of his 2012 budget. It is unconscionable that the governor would propose such an array of significant tax increases during this period of unprecedented economic turmoil that has negatively affected so many Marylanders. From limiting income tax deductions at income levels far lower than President Obama is proposing, to doubling the "flush tax," to adding a 6 percent tax to every gallon of gasoline, as just a few examples, the governor seems really committed to making Maryland Number One!
NEWS
April 19, 2012
State Sen. Jim Rosapepe should be applauded for his statement on transportation funding ("Put transportation in voters' hands," April 11). Identifying funding streams for transportation investments is a national political debate. Many understand the extraordinary need to invest in rebuilding our transportation infrastructure, but no one has taken the initiative to Senator Rosapepe's level. It will take a great amount of political courage to achieve his vision. Three thoughts came to mind in response to his column.
NEWS
December 5, 2013
Ah, to be in the U.S. economy of 1990s, a decade when the gross domestic product grew by about one-third and unemployment dropped from 7.5 percent to 4 percent. In 1993, the federal government raised the tax on gasoline to 18.4 cents per gallon, an increase of more than 30 percent from the previous year, and business boomed. Since then, the cost of a gallon of unleaded gasoline has more than doubled, yet the per-gallon federal excise tax has remained unchanged. States have raised their fuel taxes to keep up as best they can with local transportation needs, but the federal government's source of revenue has stagnated, a problem worsened by the fact that people are driving less and using more fuel efficient vehicles.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2013
Col. Brian Foley has taken command of Fort Meade at a challenging time for the U.S. military. With the end of the war in Iraq in 2011 and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan next year, growth in defense spending was already expected to taper. Then came the sequester, the across-the-board cuts that led the Pentagon to furlough civilian employees over the summer. Fort Meade grew rapidly in the 2005 round of the base realignment known as BRAC to became the third-largest base in the Army.
NEWS
June 7, 2013
The commentary "Put people ahead of cars" (June 5) was very stimulating and well written. I have been saying something similar for years. I do believe the focus is a little misdirected. While all the author's points are valid, and I have great respect to for them, I think it might be a little off. The auto is isn't going away. The percentage of people interested in biking to work is very small. The focus of the piece is to put infrastructure to accommodate transit, biking and walking where the people are. I would suggest we might be better by turning that equation upside down and putting people where the infrastructure and population centers already exist.
EXPLORE
April 8, 2013
The March 28 edition of the Howard County Times had an editorial concerning the General Assembly's increase in the gas tax. It was noted that the Transportation Trust Fund's "lockbox" isn't very securely locked. The accompanying editorial cartoon indicated that the Times believes that diversion of funds from the lockbox is a question of "when," not "if. " One wonders how long it will before elected officials propose non-transportation use of the funds. Let's see - that would be immediately after passing the bill.
NEWS
January 9, 2013
The General Assembly returned to Annapolis today, and the biggest idea floating around comes from across the Potomac. With the details of Gov. Martin O'Malley's agenda a mystery for the time being, lawmakers in Maryland's capital find themselves confronted by a bold, if not altogether sound, idea from Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell to increase the commonwealth's transportation funding by $3.1 billion over the next five years. On Tuesday, he proposed eliminating the politically unpopular gas tax altogether and replacing it with higher sales taxes, a variety of fees and as-yet nonexistent revenue from taxing sales over the Internet.
NEWS
January 3, 2013
Here's a question for you Maryland taxpayers out there: Would you rather pay a higher tax on many items you purchase each day or on something you may buy perhaps once a week (a commodity that's actually decreased in price nearly 20 percent in recent months, by the way)? Surely, most people would choose the latter. But there's another way to look at it: Would you rather see the Maryland sales tax rise after enduring a similar increase a mere five years ago, or see the gas tax rise after a 20-year freeze?
NEWS
March 7, 2014
In its "Winter 2014 Red Line Update," the Maryland Transit Administration revealed that its plan for funding the Red Line includes a "contribution" from Baltimore of up to 20 percent of the $2.8 billion current projected cost of the project ( "Cost for Red, Purples lines increase, even as major funding is proposed," March 5). In other words, city taxpayers can look forward to an additional tax burden of as much as $500 million for a project that very few citizens believe is necessary or desirable.
NEWS
December 8, 2009
With unemployment in double-digit territory and the nation still facing a crisis of failing roads, bridges and transit systems, the need for a second federal stimulus program is clear. But in typical Washington fashion, we just can't call it something so politically unpalatable. Never mind that the Republicans and moderate Democrats in Congress seem content to add to the nation's budget deficit with costly and potentially lengthy military commitments to Afghanistan. The term "second stimulus" sounds too much like a government boondoggle to the born-against deficit hawks who kept so quiet for the previous eight years.
NEWS
August 27, 2012
Sen. Ben Cardin and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake recently wrote an opinion piece in these pages regarding Baltimore's failing infrastructure. As Senator Cardin's opponent in the November election, I wanted to take this opportunity to address the real problem facing our state and federal infrastructure. Both at the national level and within the state of Maryland, we are struggling to close massive structural deficits due to years of budget mismanagement and inefficient government spending.
NEWS
June 10, 2012
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently said aloud what many Americans must be thinking these days - that at least some Republicans in Congress would like to see the U.S. economy worsen in order to boost their chances of success in the November election. The evidence? The GOP's continued resistance to approving a multiyear transportation authorization bill. Senator Reid told The Hill that he's heard House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is leading the charge to delay the Senate bill - and the tens of thousands of jobs it would create.
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