Route 1 Reconstruction Climbs County Priority List, Campus P-Line Simulations Expected Soon

Rendering of Route 1 MedianAccording to County Councilman Eric Olson, SHA’s Route 1 project has made it up to #4 (up from #6 last year) on this year’s PG County “Transportation Priority List”. The list, which every county in Maryland produces each year, has “a lot of weight in determining [state] funding priorities” according to an email correspondence with Secretary of Transportation and Former UM administrator John Porcari.

Olson also mentioned that the Purple Line remains PG County’s top transit priority. It’s worth pointing out that Porcari (confirming what was previously pointed out to us by the Coalition to Build the Inner Purple Line) also said that the MTA is producing a much needed electronic simulation of an at-grade light rail right-of-way through campus. He added that such simulations often answer “questions about pedestrian, bus, emergency vehicle, and LRT compatibility.”

Funding, unfortunately, is still a serious issue for transportation priorities all across Maryland as the state continues to project massive funding shortfalls in the coming years. Porcari noted that the Department of Transportation is working closely with legislators to identify and pursue new revenue sources.

14 thoughts on “Route 1 Reconstruction Climbs County Priority List, Campus P-Line Simulations Expected Soon”

  1. Interesting Quote:

    ” ….the Department of Transportation is working closely with legislators to identify and pursue new revenue sources…..”

    Hopefully everyone on here is smart enough to know that when the words “legislators” and “new revenue sources” are used in the same sentence it means:

    NEW TAXES
    HIGHER TAXES
    NEW TOLLS
    NEW SURCHARGES
    and MORE MONEY OUT OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

    when so much of YOUR MONEY is used (and ABused) to fund fat cat politicians and their fancy lunches, dinners, and cocktail parties on the Severn River

    Until the tax payers wake up and demand accountability and demand intelligent business management principles you will continue to get fleeced and screwed.

    Tell your politicians that “NEW REVENUE STREAMS” is THE WRONG ANSWER

    Streamline government. Oh – and while we are at it – it used to be you took the cushy 9-5 government job with the 1 hour lunch and the mid morning and midafternoon coffe break and weeks of paid time off knowing your salary would be lower than in corporate america but that was the trade-off

    well now, those government workers get all of those aforementioned perks AND they get the higher slary

    and you my friends, the good tax paying people of Maryland are paying for it.

    Are you getting what you pay for? Do government workers take your call? heck, do they even bother to return it? do they treat you like the customer that you are – or like an interruption to their miserable little un-inspired lives?

  2. by the way – I am actually THRILLED to see Rte 1 re-construction climbing the list – I really truly am. I think its great and I want this site to help formulate the business case for why it is worth every penny to rebuild it.

    I firmly believe that the entire county and the entire state would benefit from a re-constructed Route 1.

    This is an investment well worth making that will have a phenomenal long term ROI (Return on Investment) for all Maryland Taxpayers.

    David: email me if you want me to draft “A Business Case For Rebuilding US1: The Economic Value to all Maryland Residents”

    I just have to curb my enthusiasm because of the “NEW REVENUE STREAMS” issue……….Maryland already loses to Virginia everyday in the war for Business and Economic development because of our burdensome taxes – particularly gas taxes

  3. Kevin, neither the tone nor the content of these comments is at all helpful. The goals of RTCP are served by constructive and well-informed commentary, often from different constituencies with different viewpoints.

  4. Colin – as a long time poster on this site since its earliest days, I am well aware (and definitely supportive) of our goals. I think David’s link supports my point regarding gas taxes. I do not think any of what I said is not constructive or well informed. (ok the “miserable lives” comment was probably not so good but admit it: the last time you tried to navigate any governmental beauracracy was it a pleasant experience? why should that person get paid with YOUR money to treat you like garbage? YOU pay their salary, they need to treat you with respect)

    If you think it will be easy to get Maryland residents to agree to more gas taxes or any other form of new taxes, I would encourage you to get more informed. The current political climate is against additional tax burdens, so if you cant increase the amount of money coming in the door (ie Taxes, surcharges, tolls) then you HAVE to cut spending and do more with less. Cut the waste and INVEST in what will provide a return.

    It happens everyday in corporate america and it needs to happen in government. Government employees are now paid on par w/ corporate America, so it is only fair that the tax payers should demand a higher level of service from them andd demand that they become more efficient and responsive.

    It is a widely known FACT that Maryland loses to Virginia in luring companies into the state (companies that generate economic development, pay taxes, provide jobs and internships to MARYLAND STUDENTS……) and our tax environment is a leading factor.

    There is no reason why College Park is not one of the finest areas in the Metro area, the current condition of Rte 1 is a major factor in why it is not and a major factor in why a U of Md degree does not have the same cache as a UNC Chapel Hill or Michigan or Virginia degree

  5. Full disclosure: I would support a $10/gallon gas tax for environmental reasons alone (climate change and all that). That said, I don’t think there’s any question about the fact that Kevin is and always has been the most positive contributor to this website, where I mean “positive” in every possible sense of the word. He supports the site. He supports other posters. He always states his positions in a very constructive way. Anyone who disagrees with him about taxes (including possibly me at some point) is going to have to reach that standard too if we want to have any chance of prevailing in the conversation. (By the way, for the record Kevin, I don’t disagree one iota with your general comments about government needing to deliver better product for us, its “customers.”)

  6. Thanks Paul

    Here is some food for thought:

    If you pick up the state travel brochures for Michigan and North Carolina, Ann Arbor and Chapel Hill are tourist destinations!!! People go there and spend money!

    Now look at College Park. Not only are we not a destination – our alumni intentionally stay elsewhere – ie Georgetown. Which leads me to another point: The Maryland Business School is superior to Georgetown’s Business school in every dimension, metric, measure. Yet, Georgetown has more cache? Why you ask? Look at where it is located.

    A rebuilt Rte 1 is the centerpiece of a revitalized College Park. Every dollar the state spends on it will payback great returns to state taxpayers for generations to come by making the area more attractive to tourists, students, faculty, and staff who will help us gain recognition for their thought leadership and good work, lets not forget student ATHLETES who will help us gain reognition through national championships

    Do you realize how many campus visitors sleep, shop, and dine outside of CP? kind of sad really.

    DAVID and ROB: Major Major kudos for your recognition in the latest Terp Magazine! Hope it drives traffic to the site!!

  7. thanks…..FWIW, I too personally would pay a $10 a gallon tax. Im always on here whining that I wish we were more European in our attitudes toward public transportation and trains…….i wish we were not so dependent on driving huge SUVs, living in our McMansions in suburbia, and shopping at the local strip mall. I loved living in Manhattan and walking to work, the gym, and the grocery store. I did not own a car for years and it was great.

    speaking of: NYC Mayor Bloomberg wants to charge people who drive below 86th street between 8 and 6 M-F based on a model somewhere in Europe (London maybe?). Charging Rte 1 travelers a $10 toll for peak hour usage would be something I personally would love to see but I am a realist. Then the $ collected funds the reconstruction. Whats the saying – “tax the user” ?Imagine how that one would go over. I can hear Jack Perry now.

    Mark my words: Doug Duncan and John Pocari (sp?) are going to figure this thing out. I have tons of respect for and confidence in those guys. Hiring Duncan is a sign that the University is clearly getting it. I admit, I have been critical of President Mote in the past, but now I am a big believer. Hiring Duncan was one of the best strategic moves made by U Md in a very long time. We should be very excited about the future.

  8. My issue is that I can deal with a few more cents a gallon if it means that projects which I will benefit from greatly will come to realization quickly (Route 1 and the Purple Line specifically). Gas can easily increase 5-10 cents in any given week and most of that money is going to oil companies. A couple more cents doesn’t really hit my wallet that hard. I am also one who believe gas taxes couldn’t be high enough. The Europeans pay about twice as much for their gas and that goes a long way towards explaining why their cities are so much better and their cars so much more efficient than ours.

  9. Another perspective on relative tax burdens in VA vs MD:
    General Revenue as a Percentage of Personal Income FY 2005
    (“Own-source revenue”)
    Virginia: 14.3% (U.S. rank 39th)
    Maryland: 13.5% (U.S. rank 48th)

    Only Tennessee, South Dakota, and New Hampshire — none of which has a state income tax — raise less revenue per capita than Maryland.

    U.S average: 15.5%

    Dwight

  10. obviously, I meant to say Only Tennessee, South Dakota, and New Hampshire — none of which has a state income tax — raise less revenue per capita ON A PERCENTAGE BASIS than Maryland.

  11. Dwight – can you track down this type of info on Corporate taxes?…..these stats are for personal taxes. The Va versus Md tax problem relates to the businesses that choose to set up shop in Va as opposed to Md because of corporate taxes. Virginia is better for business than Md because of corporate taxes

  12. Kevin, here are the most analogous data available (they aren’t actually analogous, as noted below).

    Data for 2002:
    Corporate Income Taxes as a Percentage of Total Taxes, 2002
    Maryland, 1.8 (US Rank: 36)
    Virginia, 1.4 (US Rank: 42)

    Corporate Income Tax Collections Per Capita, 2002
    Maryland, $66 (US Rank: 25)
    Virginia, $42 (US Rank: 42)

    Corporate Income Taxes per $1000 of Personal Income, 2002
    Maryland, 1.81 (Rank: 38)
    Virginia, 1.29 (Rank: 43)

    I’d say these differences are relatively trivial and certainly don’t do much to determine where a business chooses to locate, given that overall corporate taxes represent 1/4 of 1% (.27% actually) of the cost of doing business in this country. Corporations are much more concerned with where their employees will live (so they like communities with nice amenities incl schools, roads, parks, police & fire protection, etc) and where their employees will have gone to school (quality of work force). Oddly enough, all of these desirable qualities cost money, and the money has to come from taxes, since states aren’t allowed to run a deficit (unlike the feds). That’s why property values go up, not down, in areas that spend more on their schools, for example.

    We aren’t able, of course, to determine corporate taxes paid as a percentage of corporate profits, because corporations have been quite successful in convincing state legislatures that such disclosure would be calamitous, likely bringing an end to U.S. capitalism as we know it. 😉 Only Wisconsin has any kind of a corporate income tax disclosure law, with the interesting caveat that if you are a WI resident you may request such data but you are subject to criminal prosecution if you release the findings publicly.

  13. What tax burden? Despite limitations on corporate income tax disclosure, our local Senator Paul Pinsky was able to get some info out of the comptroller’s office recently. Surprise, surprise “nearly half of the 132 biggest companies [in Maryland] paying [sic] no taxes in 2005.”

    There’s a slew of articles on this of late. Here’s one:
    “http://www.examiner.com/printa-843101~Corporate_income_tax_changes_weighed.html?cid=tool-print-top

    Undoubtedly it is the small businesses that get hit, just as individual taxpayers do — we’re the ones who have to pick up the slack when large corporations don’t pay their fair share. Hopefully, Pinsky and others will succeed in getting combined reporting written into law, so that companies can no longer play a shell game with their money by setting up subsidiaries in no tax states like Delaware and pretend they don’t actually make any money in our state.

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