Business Leaders Advocate for Roads Funding

At a recent Greater Baltimore Committee Summit on Transportation Funding, business leaders and some policy makers advocated for State and federal lawmakers to provide more funding for roadway and bridge repairs and transportation infrastructure.

“To have a first-class transportation system, whether it be rails, roads, freight or airports, we have to pay the piper,” Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell said at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s summit in transportation funding.

Rendell said states should be allowed to collect tolls on more roads and the federal gas tax should be raised. The gas tax has remained at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993.

The Maryland General Assembly created a commission in the spring to find new funding sources for transportation projects, with a report due in 2011.

In the meantime, Maryland business interests will be pushing state lawmakers this year to increase the gas tax, which hasn’t been raised since 1992. It stands at 23.5 cents per gallon.

The GBC and Maryland Chamber of Commerce both support an increase, and advocated for one in the 2010 General Assembly session.

Fellow commission member Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the GBC, said in addition to a gas tax hike, he supports increased tolling and other yet untried ideas, like a tax on the amount of miles a vehicle travels.

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