Maryland governor signs transportation funding package

| Friday, April 16, 2004

Gov. Robert Ehrlich signed a transportation revenue package April 13 that will hike vehicle registration fees for Maryland drivers.

The new law is expected to raise $237 million a year for road projects and mass transit across the state, The Associated Press reported.

The plan relies 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.

“Today we take a major step toward improving the safety of our highways, reducing gridlock and building a transit system that works,” Ehrlich said in a statement. “This bill compliments the way Marylanders choose to travel by balancing road projects with a safe and efficient transit system.”

The package falls short of the goal set by a task force that outlined the road projects needed in Maryland by 2010, The AP reported. The panel determined last year that $17 billion worth of projects are needed over the next six years; the new law allows the department to raise $12 billion.

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