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May 17, 2013 11:45 AM, EDT

Maryland Gov. Signs Gas Tax Bill

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) signed into law the state’s first gas tax increase in 20 years and announced $1.2 billion in transportation projects, the Associated Press reported.

The gas tax will add about 4 cents to the state’s current 23.5 cents per gallon tax and will take effect in July, according to AP. The tax will increase another 8 cents by July 2015 and then another 8 cents by July 2016.

The law also includes a provision to automatically raise the tax in the future based on inflation by linking it to changes in the consumer price index, according to AP.

The money raised from the tax is estimated to fund an average of $800 million a year on transportation projects, a total of $4.4 billion over the next six years, AP reported.

At its current pace, the state was scheduled to run out of money for new transportation projects after 2017, according to AP.