They're Everyone's Roads

Friday, August 22, 2008

Regarding the Aug. 20 letter "Sharing the Road But Not the Load":

It's true that in Maryland, gasoline taxes and car titling fees are big sources of revenue for the transportation trust fund, together providing more than 40 percent of the fund, which maintains state roads and bridges and pays for services such as those provided by the Motor Vehicle Administration.

However, last year the General Assembly decided to allocate a portion of sales tax revenue to the transportation trust fund, meaning that every person in Maryland who buys a bell, book or bicycle contributes to maintaining state roads, even if that person doesn't own a car.

Money to maintain county roads, such as MacArthur Boulevard, comes from a county's general fund, with property tax and local income tax being the biggest sources of revenue.

Everyone who owns property or pays local income tax contributes to the maintenance of county roads, whether that person drives or not.

Many bicyclists also own cars and pay the associated fees, thus contributing to the transportation trust fund, and many bicyclists also pay property and local income taxes.

Motorists may feel that they own the road, but that is not the case.

No matter where the money to provide them comes from, roads are public facilities, created and maintained for all members of the public to use, whether they bike, walk or drive.



© 2008 The Washington Post Company