Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has named a bipartisan group of 11 people to a new local and regional transportation funding task force.
The task force will study and make recommendations about the ways county and municipal governments can fund local and regional transportation projects. It will submit a final report of its findings and recommendations to O'Malley and the Maryland General Assembly by Dec. 15, according to a news release from the governor's office.
The task force was created as part of transportation legislation signed into law in May. Revenue generated under provisions of the transportation act will go to the state's transportation trust fund, which supports state highway and transit projects but not to local roads and transit projects, a Maryland Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.
The transportation act is expected to create an additional $4.4 billion investment over the next six years. It indexes the gas tax to the Consumer Price Index and adds a percentage of the state sales tax to the price of gasoline. Effective July 1, 2014, it will also index transit fares charged by the Maryland Transit Administration to the CPI. The law calls for the state to issue general obligation bonds for federally-required environmental improvements, according to a state officials.
The task force will be led by Matthew Gallagher, O'Malley's former chief of staff and the president of the Goldseker Foundation, a Baltimore-based grant-making organization. Other members of the task force include Maryland Transportation Secretary James Smith Jr., state legislators and officials in local government.
"The local and regional transportation funding task force is comprised of talented and experienced state and local officials, and will help determine the best ways to support regional and local transportation system needs," O'Malley said in the release. "Together, we can continue to make the better choices to invest in the future of Maryland's transportation network, allowing us to create more jobs for our hardworking families and rebuild our State's infrastructure."