Two more bills to raise gas and diesel tax in Maine coming to Legislature

Rep. Denise Tepler (D – Topsham) is sponsoring a bill to increase the tax on diesel fuel. Rep. Andrew McLean (D – Gorham) is proposing two bills to increase the gas tax, one is a new seasonal gas tax that has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing. Photos courtesy Maine Legislature.

AUGUSTA – First there was a carbon tax bill, then a proposal that would increase the gas tax by almost 25% and increase a host of fees related to driving and registering cars and trucks was introduced in the Maine Legislature.

But with the carbon tax proposal from Rep. Deane Rykerson on the ropes, two Democrat lawmakers are sponsoring additional proposals to increase taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.

One bill, LD 1157, proposed by Rep. Andrew McLean (D-Gorham) would impose a ‘seasonal’ gas tax of 37 cents per gallon, which is an increase of about 7.5 cents per gallon. This price would be in effect from June 1st to October 31st each year.

At the same time, the bill slightly reduces the gas tax from November 1st to May 31st, from 29.5 cents per gallon to 27 cents per gallon.

Essentially, Mainers would pay 25% more for six months a year, and get a reduction of less than 10% in the other six months of the year under LD 1157.

LD 1157 has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing.

Another bill, LD 466 proposed by Rep. Denise Tepler (D – Topsham) would raise the sales tax on diesel fuel by 5 cents per gallon. LD 466 has five cosponsors, four of whom are Democrats, plus the Representative from the Passamaquoddy Tribe, Rena Newell, whose party affiliation is not listed.

LD 466 has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing.

These bills are in addition to the other proposals Maine Examiner has already covered: the original carbon tax bill proposed by Rep. Deane Rykerson and cosponsored by about 60 Democrats which is being turned into a ‘study group’, and another bill proposed by Rep. Andrew McLean that would increase the gas tax by almost 25%.

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