Gov. Martin O'Malley said Monday he wants to extend Maryland's sales tax to gasoline, a move that would give the state the fourth-highest gas tax in the continental United States.

O'Malley's plan would phase out the state's exemption of the sales tax for gasoline over three years, adding a 2 percent tax each year, eventually applying the full 6 percent sales tax to fuel, he said.

At the current average of $3.48 a gallon in the state listed by AAA Mid-Atlantic, the sales tax would earn about 21 cents per gallon by the third year, more than a state commission's recommendation to raise the flat tax on fuel by 15 cents over the next three years. At $5, the increase would cost motorists another 30 cents a gallon.

Officials look at raising ICC speed limit
Gov. Martin O'Malley said officials are considering raising the speed limit on the Intercounty Connector.
Maryland's newest highway has a speed limit of 55 mph, unlike Interstate 95, which connects to the ICC in Prince George's County and has a speed limit of 65 mph. Police with the Maryland Transportation Authority have been heavily patrolling the recently opened road.
"The folks that run the ICC, the Maryland Transportation Authority, are actually considering potentially raising the speed limit," O'Malley said on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" program. - Ben Giles

In addition, drivers still would pay the current 23 cents per gallon to cover the state's gasoline tax.

"The best option it would seem to me, and none of these options are popular options, would be to get away from the flat per-gallon tax and instead move to a percentage," the Democrat said on WTOP's "Ask the Governor."

House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell, R-Calvert/St. Mary's, said that if more than 70 percent of Marylanders oppose a raise in the flat tax on gas, even more would likely be against the governor's new plan.

<table style="float: right; border-collapse: collapse; background-color: aliceblue; padding: 5px 0pt; margin: 5px 15px 5px 0pt; width: 290px; font-family: arial; font-size: 11px; line-height: 12px; border: 1px solid #efe1ab; box-shadow: 5px 5px 5px #cccccc;" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr style="font-size:14px;line-height:15px;color:darkred;"><td><strong>Examiner Archives</strong></td> </tr><tr style="font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold;"><td> <li><a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/capital-land/2012/01/omalley-budget-hikes-taxes-one-five-marylanders/2108606" style=" font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">O'Malley budget hikes taxes for one in five Marylanders (1/18/12)</span></a></li> </td> </tr><tr style="font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold;"><td> <li><a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/dc/2011/12/md-ponders-higher-gas-tax-2012-va-says-no/2048651">Maryland ponders higher gas tax in 2012, Virginia says no (12/31/11)<br/></a></li> </td> </tr><tr style="font-size: 12px; 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