- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 7, 2015

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that tolls will be rolled back at roads, bridges and tunnels starting July 1, reductions that will save Maryland drivers $54 million a year — the first drop in 50 years.

The roads, tunnels and bridges affected include the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge, the Intercounty Connector (ICC), the new Interstate 95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL), the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry tunnels, the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge.

“We are proud to announce what by far is our largest tax relief package to date and marks the first time tolls have been lowered in Maryland in nearly 50 years,” Mr. Hogan said in a statement. “This tax cut will put more than a quarter billion back into the pockets of our beleaguered Maryland taxpayers, and back into our economy.

Maryland should see a savings of $270 million over the next five years, the Republican governor said.

Local residents won’t have to pay the E-ZPass monthly $1.50 account fee. The E-ZPass discount in Maryland will also drop from 10 percent to 25 percent.

Tolls at the Bay Bridge will be reduced. Now the two-axle cash rate drops from $6 to $4 round trip and the commuter rate from $2.10 to $1.40.

“I have thoroughly reviewed the toll-reduction plan, and I’m confident the MDTA will continue to maintain its sound financial footing and commitment to safety and quality services,” Pete K. Rahn, Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) chairman and Transportation Secretary, said in the statement. “A lot of hard work went into the development of this proposal, and I’d like to thank MDTA board members for their careful analysis and approval of this toll-reduction plan.”

For a list of toll reductions in Maryland, visit mdta.maryland.gov.

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