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Maryland hasn’t ‘had any problems’ with gas stations complying with gas tax holiday

Gas station owners throughout Maryland have been compliant with the state’s gas tax holiday, allowing Marylanders some relief from the recent hike in gas prices.

Peter V.R. Franchot, Maryland’s comptroller, chief tax collector and gubernatorial candidate, issued a stern warning to gasoline stations that failed to lower prices during the state’s 30-day gas tax holiday, Maryland Matters reported.

“The hammer is going to come down, because we’re not going to tolerate it,” Franchot said. “We have the authority to take their license away.”

Kirk McCauley, director of government affairs for the Washington, Maryland, Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association, told The Center Square his group is not offended by the comptroller’s remarks.

Franchot has the legal authority to revoke licenses from stations “if they were doing something wrong,” such as continuing to collect taxes during the holiday, McCauley said.

“Truthfully, if one of my members was doing something wrong, I would want the hammer to come down on then,” McCauley said.

But so far, that hasn’t happened, McCauley said.

“We haven’t had any problems,” McCauley said. “Everything has been working fine. Truthfully, the comptroller’s office has done an amazing job of putting everything together to do a tax free holiday and get the stations reimbursed for the gas they had in the ground that they had already paid taxes on. That was a complicated thing.”

Gas station owners aren’t making a profit from the gas holiday, McCauley said.

“We’re not making a dime off of it but we’re making customers happy and that’s a good thing,” McCauley said.

The tax holiday has temporarily dropped gasoline prices by 36 cents per gallon, McCauley said.

“You have to remember that gas prices go up and down every day,” McCauley said. “I tell dealers, ‘Just follow the market. Just make sure you take your 36 cents off for the tax and document what you are paying for the gas, when you have to go up on prices and when you go down.’ It’s really simple. We really haven’t had any complaints.”

Factors such as location and competition influence gas prices, McCauley said.

It wouldn’t make sense for one gas station to keep charging higher prices during the gas holiday while stations around it were not, McCauley said. Consumers would simply buy their gas at the stations with the lower prices.

“You would have to assume that all the stations in the area were in a conspiracy,” McCauley said. “But it didn’t happen that way.”

This article was originally posted on Maryland hasn’t ‘had any problems’ with gas stations complying with gas tax holiday

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