MARYLAND

Maryland House passes gas tax increase

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has voted to raise taxes on gasoline in the state for the first time in more than two decades.

The House voted 78-56 on Friday for the bill, which now moves to the Senate.

The measure would apply a 1 percent sales tax in July in addition to the state's 23.5-cents-per-gallon excise tax. The increase would add 3.3 cents to the price of a gallon of gas. The bill also includes an adjustment for inflation that would add another half-penny in July 2014, for a total of nearly 4 cents.

There would be another increase of 3.7 cents on Jan. 1, 2015, with another increase in July 2015.

The price would rise to about 12 cents by July 2015.

Governor Martin O'Malley issued this statement on the passage of the transportation bill:

"I am pleased that the House of Delegates acted today to create jobs by passing a 21st century infrastructure investment plan. The investment plan the House passed today is balanced, fiscally responsible and will support 44,000 jobs over the next five years. With new roads, bridges, and transit systems, Maryland will continue to be competitive at attracting companies to invest, grow, and create jobs. Today, we continue to be a leader in the region for jobs recovery. Maryland has recovered more than 86% of the jobs lost in the national recession. I urge the Senate to pass this plan quickly so that we can continue to help Marylanders find jobs and strengthen our middle class."

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