Local Officials Fight for Highway User Revenue Increases - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Local Officials Fight for Highway User Revenue Increases

Posted: Feb 08, 2018 10:27 PM Updated:

SALISBURY, Md.- Nine years ago Maryland municipalities lost a significant portion of their highway user revenues in state budgets.  Over the years Delegate Carl Anderton says he's been gaining traction in the state house to get back the state funding we lost nearly a decade ago. 

The state funding helps to pave potholes, improve street conditions and repair roadways.  Highway user revenues come out of gas taxes and were traditionally split 70-30 between the state and Maryland counties. Anderton says in 2009 the 30-percent counties were sharing in the state was cut by 90-percent in one day.  Since entering the state legislature Anderton says counties and municipalities have gotten small increases, but are still only half way to receiving the earlier funding. 

"Especially with municipal budgets, there's not much fat in them.  They're tight," Salisbury City Councilman Muir Boda said. "You take out a half a million dollars that we use specifically for one purpose, that's tough."

Boda and Anderton are both optimistic that this year the state legislature can lock into a budget increase.  Anderton says some state officials are worried that the proposed bill locks the funding, but he says it will gradually put the money back into the counties over four, six or eight years depending on varying options.

"The Maryland Municipal League and the Association of Counties are full force on this.  This has been the top priority for both organizations for the past five or six years," Boda said. 

Robert Ruark, of Fruitland, says he's disappointed the shore is often ignored by the state. 

"We're smaller, so we get seconds," Ruark said. 

He says he'd like to see specific street improvements. 

"Potholes are my main concern," Ruark said. "Construction I can look out for, but potholes sneak up on you."

Anderton says a bill hearing is scheduled in two weeks.  After that the bill will go into subcommittees before reaching the house floor in Annapolis. 


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