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Annapolis, Md. (February 5, 2016) – The Maryland Municipal League (MML), along with the Maryland Mayor’s Association (MMA), called for an overhaul of the State funding formula that provides for the distribution of Highway User Revenues (HURs) to local governments. These HURs are a vital part of Maryland’s 157 cities and towns in funding transportation projects.
For well over a half century, Maryland municipalities have been recipients of state gasoline taxes and other revenue sources that provide revenue sharing to assist them in maintaining their roads. This revenue-sharing plan established in Maryland law has served as a firm covenant between the State and local governments and has provided reliability and predictability to help pay for municipal transportation needs. Sharing in revenues collected through state taxes once alleviated what has now become an unsustainable over-reliance on the property tax – the primary general fund revenue source for municipalities.
Maryland Mayor’s Association President Peter Fosselman, Mayor of Kensington, MD, led a news conference asking state legislators to join State Senators King and Peters, along with Delegates Beidle and Healey, in supporting the General Assembly passage of a bill that would require municipal Highway User Revenues to be restored to pre-recession funding levels. The proposed legislation would allow for greater predictability by municipalities in determining their expected funds for critical road and transportation projects within their jurisdictions.
The call for legislative change follows several years of instability with the Highway User Revenue funding stream, as shares were slashed from more than $45 million to $1.7 million during fiscal year 2011. More recently, Governors and the legislature have sought to increase the funding share through one time grants; however, the distributions have remained far lower than previous years, which have initiated the calls for the legislation stabilizing the payments.