Anyone who hauls a horse trailer or drives a horse van, farrier truck or vet truck, has hay or feed delivered or has their manure hauled away needs to take note: yesterday Governor Martin O’Malley announced a host of proposed funding initiatives to a special session of the Maryland General Assembly, including a 15-cent tax hike on fuel.

The special session was specifically called to address the proposed congressional redistricting (with a plan that has been widely condemned in mainstream media such as The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, as well as national media, as blatant hatchet gerrymandering).

With the special session, O’Malley used the opportunity to unveil what he is referring to as his “jobs program:” higher taxes, in one of the already most heavily taxed states in the U.S. Why he chose to do this now is up for debate, as it will not be voted on until the regular session in 2012. Perhaps he did it now in order to distract voters from the congressional redistricting debate.

Currently, Maryland’s gas tax is 23.5 cents per gallon, about middle of the road for the Mid-Atlantic. According to the Baltimore Sun, raising the gas tax by 15 cents would give Maryland the highest gas tax rate in the country.

According to the Maryland Daily Record:

“Raising the gas tax by 15 cents is expected to bring in an additional $498 million per year when fully implemented. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding is also considering a raft of other transportation tax and fee increases to bring in more than $300 million more every year.”

Why is O’Malley proposing this? Other than as a distraction to the redistricting proposal? Apparently, the hope is to restore the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund, which has been repeatedly raided over the years in order to balance the budget. This op/ed piece by the AAA Mid-Atlantic describes how lawmakers have depleted the fund over the years, and refused to install safeguards around it.

So, you do the math…at 15 cents more per gallon, what would that do to your horse business? We would love to hear from you:


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