Our local infrastructure needs a LIFT4MD – a Local Infrastructure Fast Track for Maryland. Today, Tuesday, December 13, join MACo and fellow stakeholders in making the call for a #LIFT4MD. Help us get meaningful local infrastructure funding in the State budget, restored highway user revenues, and an honest assessment of the state of all our infrastructure – from wires and rails to pipes and pavement.
Tweet TODAY: Join the #LIFT4MD twitter storm. Post your pictures of broken-down bridges and terra cotta pipes. Show how you’re doing more with less. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or all of the above – just be sure to include the hashtag #LIFT4MD.
Local infrastructure requires reliable investment to keep Maryland moving. Recession-driven cost shifts have left local roadways lacking proper maintenance, bridges in dire need, and other public infrastructure neglected. Re-investing in infrastructure – a call being heard at every level of government – is good for Maryland jobs, business attractiveness, and quality of life across the state. Meanwhile, funding for school maintenance, water delivery systems, and public safety centers all lack predictable centralized funding commitments.
Unlike most states and any other state in the northeast or mid-Atlantic United States, Maryland local governments maintain the vast majority of roads in Maryland. The State created the highway user revenue formula in 1968, and for more than forty years afterwards, local governments have received at least 30 percent of these revenues to fund their roads and bridges – 83 percent of the public road mileage in Maryland.
Yet, ever since the Recession, 23 of 24 counties have received 1.4 percent of all highway user revenues, Baltimore City has received 7.5 percent, and municipalities, .3 percent. Counties have missed out on nearly $3 billion since fiscal 2010. That’s a whole Red Line! The local share that used to amount to $535 million has been drastically cut back to $177 million – with a mere $35 million to be shared among 23 county governments (that figure used to be $296 million).