ANNAPOLIS, Md.—That, he said, would put a strain on the economy and affect local businesses.
Serafini said the state would be fine if the money slated for transportation was used for transportation projects.
Instead, he said, more than $1 billion from the Transportation Trust Fund has been moved to the state’s general fund since 2009.
Del. Neil C. Parrott, R-Washington, echoed Serafini’s comments, saying proposed projects such as the Purple Line, a light-rail project that would connect Bethesda to New Carrollton, is one reason Miller is trying to get a gas tax increase.
Some of Miller’s ideas might be good options if they were meant for “good projects,” Parrott said.
But he called the Purple Line and a proposed light-rail project called the Red Line in Baltimore unnecessary.
“I think there are roads that need to be improved,” he said.
“Because we are raiding the Transportation Trust Funds, we are cheating our county, we are cheating all the municipalities ... every county in the state, every municipality in the state with the exception of the city of Baltimore,” Parrott said.
Public approval for an increase in the gas tax remains low.
According to a January poll by Gonzales Research and Marketing Services, only 26 percent of those polled statewide favor a 10-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase, while 73 percent oppose the idea.
About 64 percent of Democrats who were polled oppose an increase in the gas tax while 89 percent of Republicans disapproved of the idea.
“People want things, but they do not want to pay for it,” Young said.
That’s why giving the ability to counties to raise money through a sales tax on gasoline, such as the bill he has introduced in the current session, is an idea that might find favor, he said.
Terry L. Baker, president of the Washington County Commissioners, reacted cautiously to the idea of an increase in the gas tax and giving counties the ability to raise money from gas sales.
“I would like to see how much money is collected from Washington County residents through the gas tax ... and how that tax money is spent,” he said.