Maryland drivers likely will see a hike in their vehicle
registration fees July 1, after senators gave final approval to Gov. Robert
Ehrlich’s transportation fee package April 9.
The legislation, which is expected to raise $165 million a
year for road projects and mass transit, was approved by a 29-18 vote. The
House passed the bill last month.
It now heads to the governor, who is expected to sign it,
even though House lawmakers stripped $90 million from it in committee, The
Associated Press reported.
The fees, along with adjusted revenue forecasts, would
generate $233 million a year for the transportation trust fund — relying
primarily on an annual increase in vehicle-registration fees. The surcharge
amount would be determined by the cost of the vehicle but would not be computed
as a percentage.
The package – HB1467 – falls short of the goal set by a task
force that outlined the road projects needed in Maryland by 2010. The panel
determined last year that $17 billion worth of projects are needed over the
next six years; the plan as amended would allow the department to raise $12
billion, The AP reported.
The House voted 72-69 March 19 to approve the stripped-down
version of Ehrlich’s $320 million plan. Lawmakers took out fee increases for
moving violations and drunken driving. Also removed was a proposal to funnel
rental car sales taxes, worth $32 million.