Letter to the Editior: 2009 Law Leads to 2014 Decision

September 30, 2014

letter-envelope-clip-artIn 2009, the Maryland Legislature passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act requiring the state of Maryland to reduce greenhouse gasses by 25%, on or before 2020. The O’Malley-Brown administration intends to return emissions to their 2006 levels, the year they were elected Governor and Lt. Governor. In Southern Maryland, the following legislators voted in favor of the bill: John Bohanan(D), Roy Dyson(D), Sally Jameson(D), Sue Kullen(D), Mac Middleton(D), Mike Miller(D), Peter Murphy(D), James Proctor(D), Joseph Vallario(D). Those voting against the bill were Tony O’Donnell (R) and John Wood (D).

In 2012, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) produced the Maryland Climate Action Plan to outline how greenhouse gasses could be reduced by 2020. The plan determined that to achieve the required reduction in greenhouse gasses, driving in Maryland must be reduced significantly. The plan proposes to increase the gas tax even more and to establish a miles travelled tax.

MDOT’s projections illustrate that the only way to achieve the goals of the 2009 law, is to start taxing Marylanders for every mile we drive. Proposals include tracking and monitoring every car so that peak hours, like rush hour, would cost more. Other proposals include getting employers to “encourage walking, biking, public transportation usage, carpooling, and teleworking,” but MDOT notes “these options will have little effect compared to raising the costs to drive”.

Last year, Southern Maryland Delegates Mark N. Fisher & Anthony O’Donnell sponsored a bill to prohibit and stop a vehicle mileage tax in Maryland and to prevent the State from tracking our cars and trucks. MDOT officials were “strongly against” the bill because they want to have the option of tracking personal vehicle usage. Maryland Democrats killed the bill, because according to their transportation experts, a vehicle mileage tax is the best way to get people to limit their driving and to fulfill the mandate set forth in House Bill 315.

Maryland legislators will soon face a critical decision: Create a vehicle mileage tax OR repeal the 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act.

We need to decide who we want in office voting on this decision — a decision that would raise the taxes of all drivers especially in Calvert, Charles & St. Mary’s. So the question is – Do we want the people who voted for the 2009 law that will result in a Mileage Tax and tracking devices, or do we want people who will vote to repeal it?

If the Maryland Democrats push through the Vehicle Mileage Tax to limit greenhouse gasses, then we need a Republican Governor to veto it and enough Delegates to prevent a veto override by the Democrats.

Rick Salen
St. Leonard, Maryland

4 Responses to Letter to the Editior: 2009 Law Leads to 2014 Decision

  1. overtaxed on October 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    While we all hope Hogan is elected Governor we can’t count on that to happen. Our local officials are our only hope. I enjoy the more rural lifestyle in Southern Maryland, it’s why I chose to move here. What was Sue Kullen thinking? Or rather what was her puppet master Mike Miller thinking when signing off on this? I get that it sounded all warm and fuzzy to them, but how much further did they go in thinking about the reality of this mandate? What magic did they think would happen in the next few years to be able to make that law a reality?

  2. Rick T on October 1, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Wake up Calvert County! It should come as no surprise that Sue Kullen supported the VMT! She is a classic tax-and-spend liberal that takes orders from leadership in the Democratic Party. We need real leaders in office like Mark Fisher and Tony O’Donnell. These two represent the true interests of Calvert County and are constantly demanding common sense approaches to state and local issues. The solution to controlling greenhouse emissions should not be a heavier tax burden on hard-working Marylanders. Rest assured, Sue Kullen is not “Putting Calvert First” as she may claim, but if elected , she will be putting Calvert first in line to absorb one more ridiculous tax her and her Democrat cohorts devise. Be smart this election. Do some research and vote for Mark Fisher!

  3. PortRepublic on October 2, 2014 at 6:38 am

    It is very worrying to see the extreme disconnect between Sue Kullen and her former constituents. 60% of the workforce that lives in Calvert County commutes outside of the county to work. That alone should be enough to signal to any sensible Delegate that a Vehicle Mileage Tax would be detrimental to the health of Calvert County. But as we all know Calvert County residents don’t just use their cars to get to work but also to bring their children to soccer practice, go grocery shopping, and do just about everything! In essence a Vehicle Mileage Tax will not only cripple Calvert County’s economy, but the very way of life that Calvert County residents cherish and hold dear. A Vehicle Mileage Tax should be the first piece of legislation that a Calvert County Delegate should oppose.

  4. EnoughisEnough on October 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Kullen has been out of office for how long now, and we’re still feeling the effects of her tax and spend policies? She really could not be more out of touch with Calvert County residents.