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NEWS
By Michael Dresser | March 15, 2013
Representatives of business and labor groups urged Maryland lawmakers Friday to fall in line behind Gov. Martin O'Malley plan to raise taxes on gasoline to fund transportation projects. At a morning news conference in Lawyers Mall outside the State House, Greater Baltimore Committeee president Donald C. Fry said an increase in transportation revenue is necessary for Maryland's economic health and quality of life. Fry said additional funding is needed to continue work on such major projects as Baltimore's Red Line.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2013
Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Democratic leaders of the General Assembly are proposing to raise taxes on gasoline by $2 billion over five years to pay for highways, transit and other transportation projects. The legislation endorsed by the governor, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch is a complex plan that would add 2 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas July 1 and another 7 cents a year later. In 2015, it would rise by another 7 cents unless Congress passes a bill to allow states to impose the sales tax on Internet purchases.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2013
The Maryland Transportation Authority has thrown some cold water on the idea of leasing the Intercounty Connector as a relatively pain-free way of raising money to pay for other projects - saying such deals are too complex to enter into without extensive study. In a position paper sent to the legislature, the authority does not rule out privatization deals but warns “they are not easy and should be approached prudently.” The authority's statement comes in response to a bill from a Republican delegate that would require the state to issue an invitation for bids for the ICC and the Express Toll Lanes being built on Interstate 95 by the end of the year, but it also addresses one of the ideas raised by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller in a comprehensive transportation revenue bill.   Miller has proposed a study of the merits of entering into a long-term lease of the ICC to provide near-term funds for large transportation projects.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 26, 2013
Democrats in the House of Delegates, who for the first half of this legislative session shied away from the issue of raising money for transportation, will draft a revenue package of their own in answer to one proposed earlier by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller. House Speaker Michael E. Busch said his party will consider various tax options in a bid to raise at least $600 million a year for transportation. Democratic delegates have been spurred into action by the Virginia legislature's approval last week of a plan to raise $880 million for transportation through a combination of tax increases and transfers of funds from other budget priorities.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2013
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller testified Wednesday that Maryland's shortage of funds for transportation projects is a crisis that needs to be addressed now. Appearing before the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee, Miller said his proposed legislation to raise money for transportation was intended as a menu of options for Gov. Martin O'Malley. Among other provisions, Miller's bill would add a 3 percent sales tax to gasoline and allow the counties and Baltimore to add up to 5 cents a gallon to the state's 23.5 cents-a-gallon gas tax to pay for local projects.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2013
A deal struck in Richmond on paying for roads, bridges and mass transit could give Gov. Martin O'Malley some political cover if he decides to move forward in Annapolis with his own version of a transportation revenue bill in the second half of this year's General Assembly session. This weekend, Republican-controlled Virginia's legislature signed off on a conference committee's compromise on a transportation revenue package that includes tax increases as well as tax cuts -- but enough of the former to reach $850 million a year in added revenue.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2013
As the General Assembly nears the halfway point in its 90-day session, Gov. Martin O'Malley and key legislators have yet to agree on a plan to pay for new roads, bridges and transit lines - a decision many consider critical to Maryland's economy. Business leaders and others are warning that a longstanding erosion of the fund that finances transportation projects is becoming a crisis. Without new money in the form of higher taxes and fees, they say, work on critically needed projects - including Baltimore's Red Line and suburban Washington's Purple Line - will come to a halt.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2013
Taking the first step in grappling with what could become one of the most difficult issues of the 2013 General Assembly, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller introduced a bill Monday night that would raise hundreds of millions of dollars for transportation projects and shift the more of the burden of financing transit projects to Baltimore and the urban counties. Miller's proposed legislation is expected to be the starting point for discussions with Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has advocated tax increases to pay for transportation but has not submitted a plan this year.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | January 22, 2013
Attempting to break a years-long stalemate over transportation revenue, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller intends to introduce legislation that would allow local governments and regional authorities to raise money for roads and mass transit. Members of Miller's staff said the bill, which is still being drafted, is likely to include some familiar forms of transportation revenue, including a gas tax increase. But it also would include creation of new regional authorities to carry out transit projects and permission for local jurisdictions to impose their own taxes for local road projects.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2013
The governor of Virginia has thrown a new wrinkle into a Maryland debate by calling for abolition of the commonwealth's gas tax and increasing the sales tax to pay for roads and transit - a move that would alter the competitive balance between the two states. This week's proposal by Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, is part of a five-year $3.1 billion plan that seeks to address that state's lack of money for transportation projects - which parallels a similar shortfall in Maryland - by shifting from a dwindling revenue source to one with the potential to grow with inflation.
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