This post summarizes budget actions and the status of legislation related to transportation funding that MACo either considered or took a position on during the 2015 session.
Additional Funds in FY 2016 Budget: Early in the 2015 session, the Governor issued a supplemental budget to provide an additional $25 million for local transportation funding – $4 million for counties; $19 million for municipalities; and $2 million for Baltimore City. The General Assembly approved the supplemental funding and it has been incorporated into the FY 2016 budget plan.
Local Highway User Revenue – Restored Distribution: Numerous bills were introduced this session to restore local transportation revenue. While the specifics vary, these bills each would provide additional revenue for local roads and bridges by either phasing-in the previous distribution of local highway user revenues or allowing a local share of transportation revenues generated through recent changes to motor fuel taxes. These bills are summarized below.
HB 837 would fully restore local highway user revenues back to the original 30% share in FY 2016 and proposes a constitutional amendment to require these funds to be used only for this purpose.
HB 899 would authorize local governments to share in the new revenues attributed to the inflationary adjustment in the motor fuel tax and the sales tax applied to the cost of motor fuel.
HB 1003 would allocate all new revenues attributed to the inflationary adjustment in the motor fuel tax and the sales tax applied to cost of motor fuel to local governments. This revenue would be distributed through a new program.
SB 181 would fully restore local highway user revenues back to the original 30% share over four years beginning in FY 2016.
FINAL STATUS: The House Environment and Transportation Committee voted HB 837, HB 899, and HB 1003 unfavorable. HB 484 had a hearing in the Committee, but no further action was taken.
SB 181 and SB 591 were heard by the Senate Finance Committee, but no further action was taken.