MACo Supports Legislation to Restore Funding for Local Roads and Bridges

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson, joined by Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine, Anne Arundel County Council Member Jerry Walker, Prince George’s County Council Member Todd Turner, and MML Associate of Government Relations and Research Tom Curtin, testified in support of legislation to restore local transportation funding before the House Environment and Transportation Committee on March 6, 2015. The bills, HB 484, HB 837, HB 899, and HB 1003 would provide additional revenue for local roads and bridges by either phasing-in the previous distribution of highway user revenues or allowing a local share of transportation revenues generated through recent changes to motor fuel taxes.

“Transportation Funding Restoration” is MACo’s top priority for the 2015 Session. From MACo’s testimony on the bills,

For decades, local roadways were funded as one of the modes of transportation receiving 30% of Highway User Revenues (motor fuel tax and vehicle registration fees). The local share was slashed during the recession-driven budgets, and the former $555 million has been directly cut back to $167 million – with a mere $26 million to be shared among 23 county governments (that figure used to be $282 million). The cumulative loss of local roadway investment since Fiscal 2010 is approximately $2.1 billion. Simply put, no other component of the State budget has suffered reductions of this magnitude.

MACo feels strongly that it is now time for local roads and bridges to again play a more significant role in the State’s transportation funding plan and supports all efforts to restore funding this session.

MACo’s appreciates the support of Governor Hogan and Delegates Kramer, Parrott, and Vogt to restore these funds. To emphasize local transportation needs, Delegate Parrott prepared a presentation explaining how these funds are used, the need for a stable funding source, and the disparity in the current funding distribution based on road miles.

For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.