Voters next year will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment creating a “lockbox” to prevent raids on the Transportation Trust Fund for other purposes, but Republican opponents said the measure was a sham that would provide little protection.
Sponsored by Senate President Mike Miller as a companion to an increase in the gasoline tax, the measure, SB829, provides that money can only be taken out of the Transportation Trust Fund after a three-fifths vote of both houses of the Maryland General Assembly once the governor has declared a state of “fiscal emergency.”
Money from the gas tax, vehicle sales tax and vehicle registration fees flow into the trust fund. Over the past decade, billions have been taken out of the trust fund for other programs to help balance the budget. All but $1.1 billion in highway user revenues has been repaid.