Maryland tolls could rise thanks to proposed bill in Annapolis

Maryland could see its first toll increase in a decade under a proposed bill that would require the state to implement “near optimal” higher toll rates for drivers.

Delegate Marc Korman, who introduced HB1070, argued that despite being unpopular, toll hikes are necessary as “Maryland’s tolls are low” compared to other states.

“The goal is to have $50-$100 million of the toll authority revenue be available for other transportation needs of the state,” Korman stated. “To do that you’re going to need more revenue.”

The potential toll increases were discussed on a News Radio program Thursday, with some commentators blaming former Governor Larry Hogan’s previous toll cuts for exacerbating revenue shortfalls.

“It was just horribly irresponsible,” one caller said of Hogan’s toll reductions during his tenure.

Lawmakers are seeking ways to address Maryland’s $3.3 billion transportation budget deficit and fund long-awaited infrastructure projects across the state.

“We need to find ways to build the infrastructure Marylanders are demanding,” Korman said, defending the need for additional transportation revenue streams.

Beyond toll hikes, Korman has also proposed a 50-cent fee on goods delivered to homes as another measure to help close the funding gap.

While raising tolls remains an unpopular proposition, supporters argue higher rates are required to adequately maintain Maryland’s transportation network and advance critical projects that have stalled due to budgetary constraints.

The toll increase bill has reignited debates around infrastructure investment, user fees, and the lingering impacts of past policy decisions as the state grapples with its transportation funding needs.