Each year, MML and MACo are invited to a local revenues briefing before the House Ways and Means Committee to share their priorities for the legislative session and answer any questions lawmakers might have.
This year, MML President and Gaithersburg Councilmember Ryan Spiegel introduced MML’s priority to Fully Fund Municipal Highway User Revenues (HURs). President Spiegel explained what led up to the passing of State legislation in 2018 that restored 85% of the HUR funding cut during the Great Recession. Noting the FY24 sunset in the 2018 legislation, he discussed the impact fiscal uncertainty has on planned and structured maintenance/construction. President Spiegel finished his presentation by describing this year’s legislative intent to restore and secure full funding.
MML Legislative Committee Chair and Frederick City Mayor Michael O’Connor then shared the League’s second priority: Preservation of 5G Small Cell Siting Authority. To keep the presentation on topic for the briefing, Mayor O’Connor detailed the difference between local government and industry positions on franchising fees and the fair recovery of costs associated with permitting. He made clear MML’s position is that we do not need a statewide bill to move forward.
League staff wrapped up the briefing by discussing municipal property tax dependence and 2020’s strategic initiative to explore new revenue sources. Government Relations Manager Justin Fiore highlighted the Video Lottery Terminal model established when gaming first became legal in Maryland, which shared 5.5% of revenues with local governments. As the legislature considers expanding gaming, MML staff asked that they continue to share the proceeds with their partners in governance.