Transportation Task Force Discusses Transmittal Letter, Recommendations

The Local and Regional Transportation Task Force held its final meeting on November 19 to discuss its draft transmittal letter and recommendations, which will be used to frame the Task Force’s final report. Following the comments made at the previous meeting by Task Force Chair Matt Gallagher, the transmittal letter included findings highlighting the strength of Maryland’s coordinated approach to transportation infrastructure and the benefits of Highway User Revenues to local governments.

In the discussion of regional financing entities, the letter referred to a number of key issues that should be addressed, such as governance, funding sources and taxing authority, prior to a district being established. The letter also stated “that for regional financing entities to be beneficial relative to financing approaches, the desire to use them must come from the localities.”

As expected, the letter also recommended a number of local-option transportation revenues that should be made available for use at local government’s discretion. This was a more refined list of those discussed at a previous meeting.

MACo offered a number of suggestions to the transmittal letter, most of which were accepted. MACo’s biggest concern was with language in the letter that would treat local governments different for HUR funding purposes based on the size of the jurisdiction. MACo supports an approach that would identify a reasonable, incremental strategy to provide all local governments with an increase in the basic level of HUR.

Coverage of previous Task Force meetings can be found on Conduit Street.