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Senate panel hears transportation revenue options

ANNAPOLIS — The chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee says it will be very difficult to address a $1 billion budget deficit and raise substantial revenue for rising transportation needs, unless Gov. Martin O’Malley includes revenue increases in his budget proposal in January.

Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, D-Baltimore County, talked about the prospects of tax increases to shore up transportation funding with reporters on Wednesday after the committee had a briefing on funding options. He says the challenge of raising the gas tax would be “maybe insurmountable” without O’Malley’s leadership.

Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for O’Malley, says all options will be discussed in building the governor’s legislative agenda.

State analysts presented a variety of transportation funding options to the Senate panel, including applying a 6 percent sales tax to gasoline.

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