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.
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."