County Executive Leopold Testifies in Favor of Firewall to Protect Transportation Funds
HB 518 would put the "trust" back in Trust Fund
Annapolis, MD (February 22, 2011) - County Executive John R. Leopold today testified before the House Appropriations Committee in favor of legislation that would stop the government from using designated transportation funds from the gas tax to balance the budget.
"This legislation puts the ‘trust’ back into the Transportation Trust Fund, which has been decimated in recent years in order to balance the budget as our roads and bridges go without needed repairs and improvements," County Executive Leopold said. "To spend this money for other purposes breaks a promise to the taxpayers to use it as it is intended."
Over the last three years, highway user funding from the State to Anne Arundel County has decreased from $31 million to $900,000. Since 1984, more than $800 million dollars of taxpayer funds that were paid with the expectation that the money would be used for local transportation projects have been diverted to the General Fund. For more than a decade as a member of the Maryland General Assembly, County Executive Leopold sponsored similar legislation protecting money in the Transportation Trust Fund.
"In these difficult fiscal times, it is more important than ever to protect the taxpayers’ investment in building our infrastructure," County Executive Leopold said. "When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging."