“Thumbnail Sketch” of Transportation Proposals

In a recent piece for Center Maryland, Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, summarizes the various transportation proposals that have been discussed or introduced so far during this year’s General Assembly session.

Senate President Miller (D-Prince George’s and Calvert) says he will propose a 3 percent statewide sales tax on the wholesale price of gas. He also suggests creating regional transportation authorities to give county elected officials the option of enacting some form of local taxes to pay for transit projects.

Also, Miller has suggested leasing the Intercounty Connector to a private company to raise funding for transit projects such as the Red Line in Baltimore and the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George’s County.

House Republicans have also weighed in on the issue.

House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell says a major impediment to crafting a solution to the state’s current transportation funding crisis is disenchantment in rural counties over an increasing “imbalance” of transportation revenues that go toward transit rather than roads and bridges.

To address the transportation funding impasse, O’Donnell (R-St. Mary’s and Calvert) proposes enacting a trust fund lock box, “rebalancing” the use of funding between roads and transit and increasing fare box recovery from transit users. He also proposes delaying construction of the Red Line and the Purple Line until the state’s economy improves more.

Other proposals include:

Two separate bills, filed by Delegate Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery) and Senator David R. Brinkley (R-Carroll and Frederick), propose constitutional amendments that would prohibit the transfer of state Transportation Trust Fund proceeds to the General Fund, among other things. Senator Ronald N. Young (D-Washington and Frederick) has filed a bill that would allow counties and municipalities to enact local sales taxes on fuel of up to 2 percent to finance local road and transit projects.

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