WASHINGTON — While members of Congress have been loathe to take the politically unpopular step of raising the federal gas tax, which provides revenue for bond-financed roadwork and other highway projects, a number of states have increased their gas taxes during the past few years.

The latest proposal comes from Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who would raise that state’s gas taxes to the highest level in the nation. O’Malley, a Democrat who must tackle a $1.1 billion budget gap for fiscal 2013, is proposing to apply a 6% sales tax on gas on top of the existing 6% tax. His proposal has drawn criticism from Maryland Republicans and it is not clear whether the General Assembly, where Democrats are in the majority, will pass the tax hike.

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