Annapolis (June 12, 2014) – Every candidate running for governor and state Legislature this year should tell Marylanders where they stand on a an idea being pushed quietly by the Department of Transportation to plop a driving tax on top of the gas tax as a way to generate more revenue, said the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today.
“This is a potentially very big burden for small businesses and commuters and the issue deserves a lot more public conversation this year while they’re all running for election,” said NFIB Maryland State Director Jessica Cooper.
The idea, called a Vehicle Miles Tax (VMT), would impose a new tax on driving based on the number of miles travelled. The state might even seek to verify miles driven by requiring Marylanders to have GPS devices installed on their vehicles.
“That would really add insult to injury,” said Cooper. “Small businesses and average Marylanders would pay a big penalty simply for driving their vehicles and they would have to give up their privacy to boot.”
She pointed out that some small businesses like trucking companies, taxicab outfits, waste removal companies, delivery services and even newspapers would be hurt far more severely than others because driving is central to what they do.
“It would create an immediate disincentive for small businesses in some industries to abandon or avoid Maryland,” said Cooper. “It would also create another reason for people to limit their trips to stores, malls, restaurants and any other small business with a physical location.
“This is a hair-brained idea and we haven’t heard any of the candidates for office this year talk about it. Marylanders deserve to know whether they’ll slam on the brakes or give it a green light.”
For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com.