Transportation Investment Through Voter Referendums

In an opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun, Senator Jim Rosapepe shares his thoughts on what Maryland should do to generate additional transportation investment.

We need a new, more transparent strategy for transportation investment. Unlike Maryland, many states fund major transportation projects from bonds authorized in voter referendums. The state’s leadership draws up a plan and asks the voters to approve it.

The revenue sources may be the gas tax — or sales tax, property tax, or other revenue. The key is that the revenue is tied to specific projects, and the voters — not the politicians and bureaucrats — get to decide if the benefits are worth the costs. In just the last three years, in the midst of the Great Recession and rising gas prices, voters in 18 states have passed 74 transportation investment programs.

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