Maryland’s Transportation Trust Fund has depleted to nervous levels, and up until last week lawmakers were at odds at how to produce a solution. Progress, however, is beginning to take flight.
Senate President Thomas Mike Miller, who criticized Gov. Martin O’Malley for failing to lead on the issue, is now having continued talks with the administration in the hopes of finding a funding solution.
“The hope would be to get a consensus bill the governor and presiding officers would stand behind,” Raquel Guillory, spokesperson for O’Malley, told The Baltimore Sun.
Miller has unveiled a long list of options that could generate additional revenue for road and bridgework in the region, including a 3% sales tax on gasoline, a local option to raise the state’s 23.5-cents-per-gallon gas tax by up to 5 cents, and the study of a long-term lease involving the Intercounty Connector.
O’Malley seems to be favoring the sales tax on gasoline as a way of producing more transportation dollars. Last year, O’Malley asked state lawmakers to pass a 6% sales tax on gasoline, but the measure could not generate enough support.
While talks with the Senate are going rather well, discussions with the state House have not gotten off the ground.