State Del. Pat McDonough plans to testify at Tuesday's public hearing at Dundalk Middle School on the proposed toll increases for the state's bridges and tolls.
This comes after his planned announcement of his plans to pre-file the "Toll Fairness Act," which he says would accomplish the following:
- Declare a moratorium on all toll increases
- The governor and General Assembly will be mandated to vote on any toll increase, providing accountability and removing that power currently held by unelected bureaucrats.
- Prohibit any funds from transportation to be confiscated and used for non-transportation costs. During the past eight years, almost $800 million has been stolen from the Transportation Fund for non-transportation projects, McDonough said.
Del. McDonough's Top Ten Reasons Why the Toll Tax Hike is a Bad Idea
1. The governor and General Assembly leaders are planning a gas tax hike in the fall special session. The toll hike and the gas tax hike combined will remove $1 billion from family budgets, hurt the economy, and kill jobs.
2. The “Governor’s Jobs Bill” was funded by transportation money by the latest economic report indicating Maryland is last in the country in jobs’ creation.
3. The taxpayers have not received an accurate list of proposed projects that need funding to justify the toll increases.
4. The revenue from the current toll rate actually produced a profit this year of $58 million.
5. The transportation fund has become a welfare program subsidizing fair box operating costs for buses, light rail and subways. Many are riding these systems without paying any fares and draining the transportation trust fund, placing pressure on toll fees.
6. The politicians in Annapolis have raided the transportation fund on numerous occasions during the past eight years, confiscating almost $800 million.
7. MDOT mismanagement is a big problem. The ICC road project in the Washington, D.C. suburbs has costs overruns, and the I-95 upgrades are already 40 percent over budget. Still, MDOT has other major projects on the planning board, like two big light rail systems that will cost billions. These money drains should be shelved.
8. The Maryland Bay Bridge is facing a 220 percent toll increase. The two Fort McHenry tunnels and the Key Bridge are facing a 100 percent toll increase. The I-95 Hatem Bridge will face a 60 percent increase. The Delaware Memorial Bridge received a $1 increase this year.
9. This is a really bad time for any kind of tax increase. In America today, there are 30 percent fewer jobs being created and the people are 20 percent less wealthy than they were just 10 years ago. The poverty rate in Baltimore County has increased by 30 percent during that same time period. The outrageous toll increase for trucks will generate higher costs for groceries and other necessary products. The toll hike is another hidden tax on Maryland families.
10. Maryland’s bridges and tunnels are a necessity for residents to go to work and survive. They are not a luxury. The toll tax hike will hit Marylanders hard every day and destroy what is left of consumer spending. It is a regressive tax on middle- and working-class families.