Marylanders are counting down until 2 p.m. when it’s expected that Gov. Larry Hogan will sign a bill to enact a 30-day gas tax holiday effective immediately.
The average cost of a gallon of gas in Maryland is $4.20. And the measure, while popular, isn’t necessarily going to be felt by consumers at the pump.
It is left up to gas station operators what price to charge, and the state can’t force stations to cut prices immediately, but lawmakers designed the legislation to make those savings for the consumer likely.
Maryland has the eighth highest gas tax in the country — about 36-cents a gallon for regular fuel and 37 cents for diesel.
Lawmakers were concerned that gas stations wouldn’t drop prices until their storage tanks were emptied of the gas they’d already paid the 36-cent state tax on. To help prod gas stations to drop prices, the state will refund gas stations for taxes paid on any fuel they have on hand at the beginning of the tax holiday.
It’s an honor system arrangement. Maryland has 2,300 gas stations, but not enough inspectors to make each one follow the law.
Maryland’s gas tax is in effect for a 30-day window, ending at 11:59 on April 16th.