MACo offered support for HB 591 heard in the House Appropriations Committee on March 10. This bill would constitutionally prohibit the transfer of revenue from the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) to the State General Fund, requiring revenues to be used for their intended purpose, transportation. HB 591 would also protect the local share of Highway User Revenues (HUR) by requiring that funds in the Gasoline and Motor Vehicle Revenue Account be distributed based on the formula in effect on October 1, 2008 whereby local governments received 30% of the funds and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) received 70%.
Since 2003, the State has transferred $947.5 million from local (HUR) to the State’s General Fund, and this year’s budget plan calls for another $350 million to be similarly shifted. In addition, during the 2010 General Assembly, the funding distribution was changed to reduce local government’s share from 30% to just over 9% and provide almost 20% of these fuel and vehicle taxes to the State’s General Fund beginning in FY 2013 and beyond. HB 591 will restore local government’s share to its traditional level of 30%, and provide assurances to taxpayers and local governments that the State’s commitment to roadways is secure.