Legislation Pending in Annapolis to Boost Transportation Fund


Legislation is now pending in Annapolis to enact Governor Martin O’Malley’s proposed $613 million increase in dedicated transportation funding.  The bill also includes a “lock-box” type mechanism to prevent future diversions of transportation dollars to unrelated purposes (to avoid future raids), and a number of other provisions. 

The “Maryland Transportation Financing and Infrastructure Investment Act of 2012″ (SB971 and HB1302) have been referred to the Senate Budget & Tax Committee, and the House Ways & Means and Environmental Matters committees.  Both are identical companion bills. 

Under the bills, the transportation funding increase will be paid for by applying Maryland’s 6% sales tax to gasoline sales at the wholesale level, phased in over three years.  The cost of this to the average motorist comes to about $30 per year for each of the three 2% increments, or $90 a year when fully implemented:  A small price to pay for reducing the $2,300 each of us is currently throwing away in wasted gas and added wear-and-tear on our vehicles from sitting in the nation’s worst congestion.  There are a number of other details you can get on-line at link above to the Maryland General Assembly website.

Public-Private Partnership Legislation Introduced as Well:   As a result of the study commission headed up by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown on Public-Private Partnerships, legislation has also been introduced to expand the use of “public-private partnerships” in Maryland (SB 358/HB576) to help leverage more private investment in transportation projects that benefit all of us.  The bill is now before the Senate Budget & Tax Committee (where a hearing is set for 3/7/12 at 1:00 pm), as well as the House Appropriations and Environmental Matters Committees.

Contact your legislator and urge support for these bills.  State legislators simply need to be reminded to consider traffic relief and transit improvements as urgent priorities.