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Brown: Gas tax opponents need economics lesson

Responding to potential gubernatorial foes who have criticized or pledged to repeal Maryland’s recent gas tax increase, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown on Thursday said his opponents might need a lesson in economic development.

Speaking to a group of construction leaders at a meeting of the Maryland chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Brown briefly detoured from his talking points on public-private partnerships to take on opponents of the phased-in gas tax hike.

“There are some people who want to lead this state who don’t want to make that infrastructure investment,” Brown said. “Anyone that thinks we can grow our economy without investing in transportation doesn’t know a whole lot about economic growth.”

Del. Ronald A. George, an Anne Arundel Republican, pledged to repeal the gas tax increase if he is elected governor. Harford County Executive David R. Craig, a Republican, has said he would cut “all” of Maryland’s taxes if elected.

But Brown’s small salvo may have been most directly targeted at Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, a likely opponent in the Democratic primary, who was critical of the gas tax increase in an interview with The Daily Record in May.

Gansler has not officially announced his candidacy for governor, but campaign aides insist he will seek the governor’s office in 2014.


  1. As an employee providing services that require extensive driving, paying for my own gasoline – I would suggest the current Administration doesn’t know much about maintaining our economy. Their grabs for increased gasoline revenue (to build mass transit requiring substantial ongoing subsidization), energy revenue to subsidize inefficient and ineffective green energies (Wind power has failed to deliver what it promised,their already increased sales tax and corporate taxes (not to mention the “rain tax” et al) have resulted in Maryland’s tax burden seeing Maryland’s economic outlook rating plummet to 35th in the Nation. By 2015 costs to businesses/employees who’s delivery of goods or services that require their driving/use of gasoline will either require significant increases in their charges to clients or simply ceasing to provide their services. In my case, the administration will be putting me out of business.

  2. I think Brown deflected the tax issue – investing in transportation infrastructure is really a secondary issue – I think most reasonable people accept that as a ‘given’ for any government – local, state, national. The primary issue is how to pay for it.
    Brown should have explained why the tax increases the state will implement on July were the best way to go.