Sep. 23, 2010
The Maryland Municipal League (MML), representing 157 municipal governments and two special taxing districts serving 1.5 million people in Maryland’s cities and towns, recently passed a statewide resolution urging Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and members of the General Assembly to restore critical Highway User Revenues and Police Aid for municipalities in the FY 2012 state budget.
In addition, municipalities are passing similar local resolutions to call attention to the issue in their communities and to urge residents to contact their state elected officials and candidates before important decisions about the budget will be made next year.
“Significant state funding cuts, combined with reduced property tax revenues and increased operating expenses, has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars used to provide basic, quality-of-life services for people living in Maryland’s cities and towns,” said Scott A. Hancock, executive director of the MML. “Highway User Revenues and Police Aid make up considerable portions of most municipal budgets – especially those of small towns.”
In FY 2008, Highway User Revenues for municipalities was fully funded at nearly $45 million. In April 2009, it was reduced to $6.1 million and then further cut by the Board of Public Works in August 2009, after municipalities had already passed their budgets and had started work on some road projects.
In the current fiscal year, it is estimated municipalities will receive only $1.6 million to be shared among Maryland’s 157 cities and towns, which is more than a 90 percent reduction in state shared revenues from 2008.