The Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding recently issued its final report to the Governor and General Assembly, which includes 23 recommendations in five issue areas. The Commission’s number one recommendation is protecting the Transportation Trust Fund. The Commission also recommended raising $870 million in new annual net revenues, which includes the restoration of Highway User Revenues (HUR) to local governments. The funding proposal to raise this additional revenue is outlined below:
- A total 15-cent gas tax increase, phased in over three years. At the end of the phase-in, the increase would bring in $491 million annually.
- A 50% increase in vehicle registration fees, which would raise $165 million a year.
- Increasing the titling tax rate from 6% to 6.5%. This would bring in $69 million a year.
- Doubling the fee for emissions testing from $14 to $28. This would raise $22 million a year.
- Increasing miscellaneous MVA fees, which would bring in $34 million annually.
- Increasing MTA fares and ending funding of free rides out of the transportation trust fund. This would earn $25 million a year.
- Indexing gas tax increases to inflation after three years, so the new funds keep pace with the economy.
Other recommendations focus on smart growth, value capture, and public private partnerships.
Coverage of the Commission’s meetings and its final report can be found on Conduit Street.