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Local roads funding is dwindling, here's how you can restore it

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Maryland Municipal League (MML), which represents the state’s 157 cities and towns, and two special taxing districts, has launched a public education campaign to ensure Maryland voters understand the importance of the need for state lawmakers to return highway user revenue (HUR) back to local cities and towns. The issue will be voted on during the Maryland General Assembly in the coming weeks. 

As one of the organization’s top legislative priorities for the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session, the permanent restoration of HURs to pre-recession levels, ensures the local monies being spent on state road projects, are returned to the local level. MML leadership wants Maryland residents to understand how their local roads are impacted by the legislation.

“With support from an informed public, we believe our state lawmakers will realize they can no longer deny returning the Transportation Trust Funds to their constituents’ cities and towns,” said MML President Jake Romanell. 

The public education campaign includes video public service announcements that outline the importance of local roads, which provide the connection between homes, schools, businesses, and recreation. The campaign is also accompanied by an online conversation on Twitter and Facebook, which can be followed with the primary hashtag, #FixLocalRoads. 

Municipal HURs were first diverted from the FY 2010 State budget when 96 percent of the gas tax funds were used to pay for state projects. Since that time, Maryland’s municipalities have received varying amounts of restored monies in the state budget. In the FY 2018 budget, municipalities will receive approximately 62 percent of the monies they would have received in a fully funded year.  

“With the public’s support, we know 100 percent restoration of the transportation funds is possible,” said Romanell. “We believe our lawmakers will do the right thing by fully and permanently restoring the funds in 2018.”

Citizens can participate by contacting their Maryland legislators. For more information, please visit http://md-municipalleague.civicplus.com/

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