By Mike Schuh

QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—Anger is growing about plans to drastically raise tolls at the Bay Bridge and other locations across the state. Some lawmakers say it will hurt families and businesses.

Mike Schuh has more on the opposition.

Folks over the Bay Bridge don’t call the toll a toll; they call it a tax. They say implementation of it could have severe impacts.

While waiting in line to get some of the best fried chicken in Maryland, Kim Wingo has time to reflect on what is being asked of her. The state wants to double the Bay Bridge toll to $5 and then to $8.

“If they’d work better on their budget and maybe cut back their spending, I think it would be a lot easier for people to make it,” said Wingo, an Eastern Shore resident.

Restaurant owners don’t know what is going to happen to their budget if people don’t travel over the bridge to come and eat.

Karen Oertedl owns Harris Crab House.

“I’d say a third of the market comes from the western shore,” Oertedl said.

Some of them get across the bridge because they rode with Robert Spindler. His business is to drive people with phobias across the bridge 4,000 times a year, which may soon mean $9,000 out of his pocket.

“I’ll be losing money, especially with the fuel prices going up also. Then the toll on top of it will make it not worth the purpose to get people across the bridge for people who are afraid of it,” said Spindler, Bay Bridge Drive Over.

At a restaurant in the bridge’s shadow, a press conference was held where a U.S. representative says transportation money from the federal government could be in jeopardy because the tolls place an undue burden on rural residents.

“We would be able to say to states in general that, in fact, if you want to receive federal funding at the full amount that you want, then you probably have to demonstrate that you’re taking care of the rural areas also,” said Congressman Andy Harris, (R) First District.

These toll increases are not set in stone. The public gets a crack at it. They can say what they think. We’ve just received a list of preliminary hearings. There will be nine of them. They will start on June 9 and end on June 23.

The state says it will soon publish the exact dates, times and locations of those public hearings.

Comments (29)
  1. Doug says:

    Keep leaning on us and we’ll collectively , snap.
    This is what happens when your servant becomes your master.

  2. randy says:

    well guess im not going to ocean city anymore.

  3. james says:

    Thry need to learn how to manage traffic better before raising the damn toll. Ridiculous to have 11 toll lanes trying to merge back in to two ot three lanes. That is what creates the massive traffic jams. only need 6 toll lanes open so two can merge back in to one lane. Keep the traffic moving or build another damn bridge with 11 lanes.

  4. Gretchen says:

    Well, it is FAR past time for us to have snapped. We should have snapped already. What is it going to take to say NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?????

    We keep talking and talking and taking the liars schemes and they continue to think ways up to steal from us. LET’S Start a MOVEMENT and take back our state; country from lying, stealing, cheating, corrup politicians…And, that just about covers all of them!!!!! WHEN?

    1. Sarah says:

      That’s what the Tea Party is about. Motto: Taxed enough already!

      1. williejoe says:

        Sarah, Tea Party is an Oxymoron for SMD.

      2. overtaxed says:

        And the resident idiot has shown up.

        Must be a very lonely soul, he hates blacks, rednecks, mexicans, democrats, republicans, and anyone else I may have left out.

        You are spot on, Sarah, we need to change this state grass roots style.

      3. andy says:

        Overtaxed, Did it ever occur to you that you may have been adopted? I mean like didn’t you ever wonder why or have someone ask you why your diet consists of Bananas & u live in a tree ?

  5. Sarah says:

    When they say that they want to ‘spread the wealth around’, where do people think the money is coming from? It’s coming from you. The warm and fuzzy feeling leaves when you realize it’s your pocket book being raided. No one is making out under these policies. Next election, vote them out.

    1. andy says:

      Sarah, Spread your legs like they were peanut butter or better yet like you want another welfare check.

  6. macgyver says:

    hey look at the money they rake in so who does the audit and why is so much money spent on brawner builders goofing off and not really doing nothing but counting paint chips

  7. macgyver says:

    yet they need to up the pay for the people who really count,toll collectors,safety patrol and transportation police who really need the income

  8. Edward says:

    That drive over service is really something great for people afraid to drive that bridge , it’s actually Kent island Shuttle Service 410-726-3990 that Mr. Spindler owns and is contracted by the State

  9. Doug says:

    Christ,they could at least hand out a lubricant at the tollbooth.

    1. Piratemon Wayne says:

      Then they would have to raise the toll even more to make you pay for the lubricant that they are using on you, New State Motto “Maryland, If you can dream it, we can tax it”

  10. steve says:

    If i still had a car, maybe if i was getting better service i would pay more. But the truth be told who wants to wait in line burning more of that precious black gold (GASOLINE) and be charged more to boot? Oh did i mention being delayed for stupidity? I guess they havent been running that bridge that long so they have no clue the traffic that is about to cross it on a HOLIDAY, they wouldnt know to have more lanes open, and more operators at the booths, no that though never crossed there mind. I bet they never thought they could hire temps to do that job! Good LUCK OC,,,,we are going to miss you.

  11. What a TRADE-OFF says:

    Sure raise the tolls. Maryland needs the money to give to the illegal immigrants to go to school. What a trade-off. What’s next — tripling the gas tax so we can give the illegals new cars to drive to school as well???? Just a thought.

  12. Somebody says:

    @ What a Trade off

    I think you may have giving them a new idea, So we all know what is happening next year. I bet all the people who voted this slum in is regretting it now. Because they are feeling the same pinch that everyone else is, well not the political officals. they are not feeling no pinch. I always said a Gov’t offical job should be a non paid service. Atleast this way they are looking for the best interet of the people and not them selves.

  13. overtaxed says:

    Public hearings???

    Like every other public hearing in this state, they will hold “hearings”, sprread their ready-made propoganda, and go through with what they intended in the first place.

    Part of me is really enjoying this, because the Dems in Annapolis are going to hit their voting stock the hardest with this toll increase, not to mention the other tolls in the state..

    1. Jonathan Chiles says:

      I disagree; No matter what Democrats do or don’t do, they will still be voted in. Did you see the election map this last time around. The state is held hostage to the City of Baltimore, Montgomery , and Prince Georges county’s. Whatever they want, we are stuck paying for. Perfect example is the new alcohol tax. Just follow the money….
      Additionally, this whole illegal tuition fiasco started in Montgomery county I believe as well.
      No matter how corrupt/ skewed or mislead the current leaders are; they will continually get re-elected because the sad part is they will stay in office.
      In addition to that, the average voter doesn’t care to know the truth or even bother to watch the news. So when politicians run adds, even if they are blatant lies; the average person will be basing their vote based on ads, and not the real truth – the person’s decisions and actions.

      1. overtaxed says:

        I hear you, but that is why I said what I said. Annapolis is used to dumping on rural areas so the “core”voters think they are doing good. The toll hikes are going to hit those that you say (and I agree with) holds the rest of the state hostage, such as daily commuters in Baltimore.

        Maybe O’Malley will turn out worse than Glendenning when all said and done, we can only hope

  14. Piratemon Wayne says:

    Guess I won’t be heading to the Jetty and Big Al’s Tiki Bar anymore, and anytime I head to the shore I will go through Delaware. Yes, they have tolls as well, but they make up for it many times over with the tax free shopping!

  15. williejoe says:

    This is a pure money grab. They do it because they can. Annapolis doesn’t give a fat f…k about anything but staying in power & cashing their own checks. Time for a peaceful revolution folks or STFU & take it up the aSS again & again.

    1. overtaxed says:

      It is real simple: The ones with the stranglehold on power are the Democrats. Do not vote for Democrats and they will no longer have power.

  16. Billiam says:

    Why do they feel it has to be doubled and then increased again by such a large percentage? Can’t it be done in smaller incremental increases? I mean it’s going to be doubled and then increased by another 60% or so? Maybe if they would have kept their hands out of the transportation budget fund in the first place, this wouldn’t be happening. Also, how do we really know this money will be used for roads and “infrastructure?: I believe that’s a fancy word for “we’ll use the money for whatever we please and you can’t do anything about it.” Well, you can forget casual trips over to St Michaels and Ocean City. I’ve had it with this state, and the rest of Maryland should be fed up with the Dumbocrats as well.

  17. JIM says:

    Lets say it is time to CUT the budeget and stop giveing out free rides for every project they can come up with (tution, wellfare,ect.) the free rides we pay for!!!

  18. Mike says:

    I am glad to see some people won’t be coming across the bridge any more… this will free up congestion on Rt. 50 in the summers. As a resident of Queen Anne’s County… I am ok with this.

    1. Jeff says:

      Good thing the restaurant and other business owners don’t feel the same way as you. Enjoy that tax hike and cut in services, Mike!

    2. Jonathan Chiles says:

      I wonder what you do for a job over on the east side. Does it require patrons? Are they only local customers your company helps? Do you ever cross the bridge? One way to eliminate the congestion is to reduce the over policing done on Queen Anne county’s side of the Bridge. Everyone hitting their brakes and clustering up because the cops are around every corner to bring in the revenue.

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