Center Maryland Article Argues Maryland Lacks Strong Transportation Funding Plan

A July 6 Center Maryland article assesses how Maryland compares to other states when it comes to infrastructure funding for transportation.  In the article, Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Donald Fry argues that Maryland has not addressed its transportation funding “in a substantial way” and lacks a cohesive plan like other states such as Virginia.

Maryland isn’t the only state struggling with an infrastructure funding crisis, but some states are opting to address infrastructure issues more aggressively than others, according to a May 9 report issued by the Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young LLP.  …

Meanwhile, Maryland has dabbled, but has not addressed its crisis in transportation infrastructure in a substantial way.  …

A number of other states have increased sales taxes or gas taxes, enacted bond-issues and ballot measures taking projects directly to public referendum, and deployed other capital-raising strategies to generate funding needed to advance major infrastructure projects.

More than a dozen states have raised fuel taxes over the past year and, in many localities, people are voting to raise taxes for infrastructure investment.  From 2008 through 2011 local ballots allocating funds to transit capital or operations had a 73 percent success rate, according to the Urban Land Institute report.

The article compares Virginia’s recent transportation funding efforts, which includes an ambitious combination of state bonding, GARVEE bonds, and a new transportation infrastructure bank to Maryland’s efforts.  The article argues that while the Virginia plan can be criticized, Maryland does not even have a comprehensive transportation infrastructure funding plan in place.

But at least Virginia has a plan. Maryland doesn’t.  And the prospect of Maryland lawmakers agreeing on an adequate plan for funding transportation infrastructure anytime soon appears slim at best.

The article challenges Maryland and other states to hold a “hard conversation”about planning for and meeting transportation funding needs.

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