As reported by the Cumberland Times-News, Delegate Wendell Beitzel has introduced legislation to incrementally restore Highway User Revenues (HUR) to local governments back to a 20% share beginning in FY 2016. For decades, local roadways were funded as one of the modes of transportation receiving 30% of HUR. This percentage has been reduced to 9.6%.
MACo, whose top legislative initiative is “Transportation Funding Restoration,” has been working closely with the Delegate on this legislation. Senator George Edwards is sponsoring the legislation in the Senate.
From the Cumberland Times-News article:
Before 2008, Maryland local jurisdictions, counties and municipal governments received a 30 percent portion of the highway user revenue funds, playing a significant role in sustaining roads and highways in Maryland’s counties, cities and towns, Beitzel said. Those funds supported local road improvement projects and maintenance work such as snow removal, filling pot holes, drainage work, pavement and other work, Beitzel said.
“Since the state has drastically reduced the HUR share, local governments have struggled to adequately budget for local funding to maintain the roads. Unfortunately, this has resulted in some counties reducing their road crew personnel and eliminating or delaying road projects and improvements,” Beitzel said in a prepared statement.
The Senate Bill, SB 664, is being heard in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.
MACo is supporting both bills.