This post summarizes the status of various finance and procurement bills relating to transportation issues that MACo either considered or took a position on.
Constitutional Amendments to Protect Transportation Funds: A number of bills have been introduced to seek constitutional amendments to protect the transfer of funds from the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) to the State’s general fund. Some of these bills extend the protections to the distribution of Highway User Revenues (HUR) to local governments and restore the distribution to back to the 70% State/30% local split (HB 23, HB 146). While others just provide the protections to the TTF (HB 695, SB 403, SB 441, SB 619). MACo supported these bills or supported them with amendments to protect and restore the local share of HUR. Status: HB 23, HB 146, and HB 695 have been voted unfavorable by the House Appropriations Committee. SB 403, SB 441, and SB 619 have been heard in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and SB 619 has been voted unfavorable.
Restoration of Highway User Revenues: HB 845 and SB 440 would both restore the local share of HUR. HB 845 would restore the local distribution back to the historical 70% State/30% local share beginning in FY 2013. SB 440 would incrementally restore the local share in 5% increments beginning in FY 2014. MACo supported both bills. Status: HB 845 has been voted unfavorable by the House Appropriations Committee and SB 440 failed in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.
Transportation Revenues: HB 1302 and SB 971 would phase-in the application of a 6% sales tax to the price of motor fuel over a three year period and establish a new Local Transportation Infrastructure Aid Account to distribute a portion of the new revenue to local jurisdictions. MACo opposed this legislation because it doesn’t restore the local government’s share of Highway User Revenue (HUR) or provide protections against transferring local HUR to the State’s general fund. Status: HB 1302 failed in the House Environmental Matters and Ways and Means Committees and SB 971 failed in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.