Below is a brief overview of MACo’s work to restore county roads funding that was cut during the Great Recession.
Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.
Highway User Revenues
The General Assembly maintained an additional $8.8 million in additional local transportation aid to be allocated among 23 counties. For more than forty years, local governments have received at least 30 percent of these revenues to fund local roads and bridges – 83 percent of the public road mileage in Maryland. In 2010, the State reduced highway user revenues by 90 percent for most jurisdictions – and local governments have advocated for restored highway user revenues ever since.
The General Assembly’s action this year to provide counties some relief connotes a small step, but marked improvement over prior years. See MACo’s coverage, including a County-by-County Breakdown of Additional Local Transportation Aid
This year, as in years past, MACo continued to support legislation that would fully restore highway user revenues to their previous levels. As in recent years, however, the General Assembly did not advance these bills.
Senate Bill 586/House Bill 1322 “Local Infrastructure Fast Track for Maryland Act,” a MACo initiative for the legislative session, did not pass out of committee in either chamber. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
House Bill 552, a bill to restore highway user revenues to local governments, ensure that new gas tax revenues resulting from Chapter 429 of 2013 are shared equitably with local governments, and amend the Maryland Constitution to prevent depletion of highway user revenues from local governments in the future did not move out of committee. Bill Information | MACo Testimony
Senate Bill 161, a bill to phase in restoration of highway user revenues to counties over seven years did not move out of committee. Introducing the bill, its sponsor Senator Steve Waugh expressed the need to “find an affordability trigger” to move the restoration forward – an element that has not been present in other similar proposals in recent years. Bill Information | MACo Coverage
Transportation Funding Decisions
The subject of transportation funding decisions has become a contentious debate between the Governor’s Administration and the General Assembly. MACo tracks this issue as it relates to local roads funding and advocates for the decision process that supports county government efficiency and effectiveness.
Voicing concerns about the scorecard legislation passed in 2016, MACo supported House Bill 402/Senate Bill 307 the Governor’s “Road Kill Bill Repeal” – advocating for either repeal or replacement. The General Assembly passed the legislation in an amended form that clarifies that the use of scoring from the statutory system will be purely advisory, while a designated work group convenes to consider refinements to its elements and effects. Bill Information | MACo Coverage