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Trust and Money Missing in Transportation Trust Fund

February 15, 2011 J

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The Maryland Reporter covered the Blue Ribbon Commission on Funding the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) meeting yesterday.

Recommendations to maintain funds in the TTF includes making sure the TTF is kept in a locked box (seriously this time) and $800 million is raised in revenue.

To taxpayers, “trust” and “funds” are both missing from the TTF. It is a no-brainer that TTF funds should be dedicated and not used as a budgetary gimmick. In all $997 million has been raided out of the TTF since 1984 ($120 million last year and $100 million this year) breaking the trust of taxpayers.

Senate Bill 714 looks to amend the Maryland Constitution raising the gas tax 10 cents, increase vehicle registration by 33%, and locking up the TTF.

But the lock can easily be picked as The Governor can propose a 5 year plan to pay it back with the General Assembly’s approval by a 3/5 majority. Borrowing money is a familiar tactic that Annapolis politicians rely on to “solve” our budgetary problems.

Annapolis is looking to raise $800 million by taxing, not cutting spending, by virtue of current proposed legislation and Governor O’Malley’s failure to make effective budget cuts.

Below is the Commission’s estimated impact of possible proposals on families.

Conspicuously missing from the chart is the impact these taxes and fees would have on businesses. Farmers, waterman, transportation based and dependent businesses will especially be hurt as they depend on gasoline to keep their businesses running.

Americans for Prosperity Maryland calls on all of Maryland’s elected officials to make real progress and abandon the policies of taxing and spending that have dug Maryland into a deep financial hole.

Estimated Household Impacts from Possible Gas Tax Proposals

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