The Maryland Municipal League (MML) adopted its legislative priorities for the 2014 General Assembly session during a business meeting held at the organization’s annual fall conference on October 18. For the second year in a row, MML adopted full funding of municipal highway user revenue as its legislative priority.
From the MML web bulletin:
For over 65 years, the state’s largest annual local aid contribution to municipalities was highway user revenues (HURs) intended to be distributed to cities and towns to assist with local road maintenance. This funding is also the only state shared revenue enjoyed by almost all incorporated municipalities. When last fully funded in 2008, this program made up 80% of total state shared revenues for municipal governments. Budget cuts since then, instituted by the state to balance its general fund budget, have decimated HUR’s in some years by as much as 96%. Where once cities and towns received over $45 million in HURs, this annual aid to municipalities shrunk to as little as $1.6 million in Fiscal Year 2011. Current year funding for this program is $24 million, of which $15.4 million came from a one-time grant of $15 million in the FY 2014 State budget. The scope of these ongoing cuts to state aid to municipal governments has been devastating. Therefore, the Maryland Municipal League membership again adopted full funding of municipal HURs as its 2014 legislative priority.