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Would You Cross the Potomac for Cheaper Gas?

A potential increase in the Maryland gas tax and the elimination of a gas tax in Virginia could trigger migration.

Would the promise of cheaper gas get you to cross the Potomac?

Maryland's legislature will consider raising the gasoline tax for the first time in 20 years this session, Patch reported in December.

In response, drivers might head south to "fill up in Virginia," a representative from AAA said.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell could make the drive across the Potomac even more enticing, with the announcement that he will seek to eliminate his state's $0.175-per-gallon gasoline tax, according to a recent Washington Examiner story.

While the disparity between gas prices in Maryland and Virginia currently is almost $0.13 per gallon, that gap could widen to as much as $0.35 per gallon if Maryland raises its gas tax and Virginia eliminates its tax, The Examiner reported, adding that the difference would equate to an extra $7 to fill up a 20-gallon tank in Maryland.

In Potomac, the cheapest gas can be found at Exxon stations in Bethesda and Rockville, including those on the Rockville Pike and on Democracy Boulevard.

Two Maryland drivers—a taxi driver and a nurse's assistant—told The Examiner that they would consider traveling to Virginia to save on gasoline.

When asked about the potential changes to gas taxes in Maryland and Virginia, Kirk McCauley, the director of member relations and government affairs for the Washington, Maryland, Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association, called it "devastating for our dealers."

If you've ever wondered why gas is already cheaper in Virginia, AAA spokesman John Townsend told The Examiner that it was due to the larger size of Virginia and that in urban areas, "the Environmental Protection Agency requires more expensive blends to be used in the summer to reduce pollution."

How far would you travel to save money on gasoline? Tell us in the comments.

Gail Weiss January 21, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Stupid is the politician who ignores the basic premise of economics which is that money will flow to where it can get the most of anything at the cheapest price. This is emblematic of why Virginia has something like 25 Fortune 500 companies while Maryland is down to its final three.

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