Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Transportation tops GBC’s Legislative Forum

To tax? To build? To reprioritize? Regardless the answer, all of the state leaders who gathered Monday morning for the Greater Baltimore Committee’s legislative forum wanted to talk transportation.

The debate sparked after Paul Kelly, chairman of the Maryland Motor Truck Association, said that the proposed gas tax, coupled with proposed increases in registration fees, meant “[the legislature’s] just driving business away from Maryland.”

The panel, headed by Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the GBC, consisted of E.J Pipkin, Senate minority leader; Edward J. Kasemeyer, chairman of the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee; Anthony J. O’Donnell, House minority leader; and Michael E. Busch, speaker of the House.

Pipkin, who staunchly opposes the proposed tax, said the real need was to re-prioritize funds, adding that, “If it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs, we should be working to improve our road networks, not building mass transit.”

The proposed tax would help fund a Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton and a Red Line in Baltimore.

Fry, though agreeing maintenance and repair is important, said that a growing population needs new transportation.

The Red Line, which would provide access to about 175 job sites along its route “would also help spur economic growth around the various stops,” Fry said. The line would connect Baltimore’s light rail and metro line.