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Kamenetz: People Are Tax Weary

With transportation funding cut and projects piling up, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz waits to see what options the state comes up with.

With a possible debate on an increased gas tax looming as part of the General Assembly session that begins Wednesday, you may be wondering if Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is for it or against it.

As little as five years ago, Baltimore County was getting $45 million annually from the state for roads projects. But that figure has been slashed more than 90 percent to about $1.5 million in the current budget year.

Other jurisdictions around the state have seen nearly identical cuts. A gas tax could go a long way to alleviating that backlog.

"I think part of the problem here is that we're dealing with a lot of different taxes," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz during a Jan. 8 appearance on the Middday with Dan Rodricks show on WYPR.

Kamenetz references increases in state sales taxes and federal payroll taxes that kicked in January 1 and now a proposed gas tax.

"I think it's a lot hitting people all at once and they're getting a little tax-weary," Kamenetz said. [Listen to the WYPR interview]

But the Baltimore County executive is also mindful that there is a backlog in road projects including road surfacing projects in the county he represents.

Kamenetz's on-air comments didn't sound like support or opposition to a possible gas tax increase.

"[Kamenetz] is open to a number of ideas but at this point in time he doesn't see that there's a lot of appetite for another tax increase," said Don Mohler, a spokesman for Kamenetz.

But don't read too much into it, Kamenetz isn't making a Shermanesque statement one way or the other.

It's more like a wait and see, said Mohler.

"The county executive recognizes the need for additional funds for transportation projects and will advocate for increased funding but he recognizes that this is a state legislative process and is respectful of that process," Mohler said, adding that the county executive "will weigh in on the issue at the appropriate time."

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PerryHallParent January 09, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Well, not everyone feels the same way as you and people can tolerate different levels of comfort. School years are longer now due to endless professional days and 3-4 day weekends now. I never went to school in August and certainly not in June, so that factored in as well back in those days. So it's all relative to how you feel about the temperatures personally. Not everyone is temperature neutral like you.
Paul Amirault January 09, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Isn't it just cheaper to change the school calendar by eliminating days and lengthening the school day then paying many millions for air conditioning?
John Therres January 10, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Why can't the state government collect money for the Transportation TRUST Fund and use it for transportation projects? By using the funds for their designated purpose the state would have to reveal where they are using the gasoline tax funds, the toll funds, etc....
Kamenetz Is Doing A Great Job January 10, 2013 at 05:59 PM
It is obvious that you have a blind hatred of Democrats and/or Kamenetz, so therefore your comments have little meaning to an objective reader.
Kamenetz Is Doing A Great Job January 10, 2013 at 05:59 PM
It is obvious that you have a blind hatred of Democrats and/or Kamenetz, so therefore your comments have little meaning to an objective reader.

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