Counties Urge Restoration of Local Highway User Revenue Distribution

screenshot of Senate hearing – MACo President Laura Price and MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson give testimony

On March 15, 2022, MACo President Laura Price and Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 946 – Transportation – Highway User Revenues – Distribution with amendments. The bill as introduced serves to increase the local share of transportation revenues needed to support safety and maintenance work on local roads and bridges across Maryland. County amendments would conform the distributions to match those from the high-water mark of this important local funding, in FY 2009.

“We appreciate the sponsor, Senator Washington, realizing this is a moment in time, where the State has its best chance yet to fix this funding,” said Mr. Sanderson, “with four and a half billion dollars coming to Maryland just for roads and bridges, you can do this.”

MACo offered amendments to conform the “full funding” distribution amounts to match the levels from the last year of full funding in Maryland, matching those in MACo’s initiative bill, SB 726.

From the MACo testimony

During the depths of the “great recession” in 2009, the State faced a mid-year budget crisis. The Board of Public Works adopted a 90% reduction of the local distributions of these Highway User Revenues for 23 counties and a roughly 40% reduction to Baltimore City’s allocation (the largest by far to any jurisdiction). Since then, recession-driven cutbacks in many service areas have been fully or largely restored. This is not the case with Highway User Revenues – they remain far, far behind historic levels, even after the State has enacted a substantial transportation revenue increase.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.
Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.
Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.