BALTIMORE -- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley supports a bill that would raise the state's tax on gasoline by six percent over three years, but gas station owners who oppose the legislation are voicing their disapproval. Station owner Keith Madsen, who owns Hess stations in Towson and Elkridge, Md., has started a petition against the governor’s measure and other station owners are joining in, WBAL TV reported.
Madsen’s petition has garnered approximately 1,200 signatures from customers since he began collecting them three weeks ago. "A lot of people don't even buy anything. They see the sign and they stop and say, 'Where's the petition? We want to sign this,'" he told the news outlet.
O'Malley has stated that the increased tax, which supporters say could generate an extra $600 billion in revenue, would pay for road and public transit improvements and fund 7,500 new jobs. However, Madsen believes it would only harm his business and consumers at large.
"They portray this as a jobs bill, that this is going to increase jobs in the state, when really, the people that are going to need jobs are the people who are driving their cars because they have to pay all these extra fees in taxes," he said.
Other gas station owners have collected around 20,000 additional signatures, according to Madsen, who is a member of the Washington Maryland Dealers Association. The organization intends to deliver the signatures to lawmakers at an Annapolis, Md., hearing on a date to be determined.