transportation officials told a commission Oct. 21 the state must
raise an additional $300 million annually to pay for needed road
and transit projects by 2010, The Washington Post reported.
Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan and other state officials
spelled out what they termed a menu of options for raising $1.8
billion over six years to deal with safety problems and to reduce
options include more than doubling the vehicle registration fee,
which alone would raise the $300 million needed annually, state
the fuel tax by 10 cents per gallon would raise $318 million annually.
The task force also could recommend a combination of money-raising
measures, such as increasing the vehicle registration fee nearly
60 percent and the fuel tax by 5 cents a gallon.
options include increasing the titling tax on the purchase price
of new and used vehicles from 5 percent to 6 percent, applying the
5-cent sales tax to fuel for the first time and increasing the sales
tax on all items from 5 percent to 5.25 percent.
29-member commission, appointed by Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. to find
solutions to the state’s transportation funding problems, will hold
six public hearings on the money-raising options. It will report
to the governor in mid-December, shortly before the General Assembly
opens its 2004 session.
Hellman, chairman of the task force, told The Post he did
not know whether the commission would recommend one funding option
or several. It also could make no recommendation and leave the decision
to the Legislature.