Gazette Columnist Criticizes County Highway User Cuts

In a July 23 opinion piece, Gazette columnist Barry Rascovar criticizes the General Assembly, Governor Martin O’Malley, and former Governor Bob Ehrlich for “raiding” the State’s transportation funds in order to balance the budget, including the highway user revenue cuts to the counties.  He also discusses the impact the transportation cuts will have on both State and local projects. 

Some $400 million was stripped from county governments and Baltimore city so state legislators could crow about closing a yawning budget gap without raising taxes.

Even worse, state lawmakers then passed a law shifting a huge chunk of the state’s highway user revenues from the counties permanently. …

All told, highway user revenues to the counties were cut an incredible 96 percent. Money that counties depend on to keep their roads in good shape and fill potholes was yanked from their pockets. …

Maryland’s road quality already ranks 37th in the nation. Maryland drivers pay an extra $425 in vehicle costs due to rough roads, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.

Imagine Maryland’s ranking after the highway revenue heist fully kicks in. It won’t be pretty.

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