Maryland eyes bridge toll, fuel tax hikes

| Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Truckers and other drivers could face higher tolls on several Maryland bridges as well as higher fuel taxes as transportation officials look for ways to fund projects.

With Maryland confronting one of its worst projected long-term deficits, efforts to generate new transportation dollars have intensified, The Annapolis Capital reported. Among the proposals: increasing bridge tolls and fuel taxes.

State Sen. E.J. Pipkin, R-Stevensville, told The Washington Times that now is the time for people to let transportation officials know how they feel about higher tolls.

“People have to pick up the phone or send e-mails,” Pipkin said. “The more the public lets the Department of Transportation know about this, the better off we’ll be.”

The Maryland Transportation Authority can put toll hikes into effect without approval by the General Assembly, Pipkin said. Tax increases would require legislative action.

According to The Capital, enacting new tolls on thoroughfares that carry lots of out-of-state traffic also is an option.

To contact the Maryland Transportation Authority, call toll free 1-866-713-1596 or e-mail mdta@mdtransportationauthority.com.

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