Perryville Protesters Rally Against Toll Hike

PERRYVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — The heated debate over proposed toll hikes continues — this time at public hearings to increase tolls.

As Gigi Barnett explains, protesters are particularly upset over the increase on state bridges and tunnels.

This is a battle weeks in the making.

Hundreds of protesters rallied at Perryville High School Thursday evening. Inside was a packed public hearing on the Maryland Transportation Authority’s plan to raise tolls on all state highways.

“I have to equate this board with the Somali pirates. You’ve been holding us hostage for years and it’s time to do away with it,” said one protester.

But most of the people who attended the hearing are from Cecil and Harford counties. They’re especially concerned about the increase along the I-95 and Route 40 bridges spanning the Susquehanna River. They’ll see a fee hike that is more than 60 percent.

“These people feel strongly about this toll increase. If you don’t already know, the federal employees didn’t get a raise this year. We’re not getting a raise next year,” said Cecil County resident Nancy Waltman.

“Fair is fair, and what you’re proposing is not fair,” said a protester.

Some state lawmakers also spoke out against the raises, calling them detrimental to business during a slow economy.

“The proposal that’s here tonight will cost your family an additional $1,000 a year in income. That does not make sense,” said Rep. Andy Harris, (R) Maryland.

“Nobody should be increasing taxes in the middle of a recession. No one,”  said a proposal opponent.

Thursday night’s public hearing was one of several scheduled statewide.

The Maryland Transportation Authority’s second public hearing in the area will be on June 27.

Comments

One Comment

  1. JackDaniels says:

    C’MON…………WE NEED THAT EXTRA REVENUE SO OWE-MALLEY CAN TAKE TRIPS TO SOUTH AMERICA AND AFRICA TO GENERATE NEW BUSINESS FOR MARYLAND…………….THERE ARE A LOT OF AFRICANS JUST DYING TO MAKE CRAB CAKES WITH OUR BLUE CRABS………………IT COULD GENERATE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS TO THE STATE’S ECONOMY………..WELL DONE MARTY!!!!!!

  2. AMAZED says:

    ARE YOU PEOPLE THAT STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THESE PUBLIC MEETINGS ARE A JOKE! THIS IS JUST PR SO THEY CAN SAY “WE VALUE THE PUBLIC OPINION!
    FOLKS IT IS A DONE DEAL!!!!! SUCK IT UP, YOUR GOING TO PAY PERIOD! AND THESE POLITICIANS “WERE GOING TO SUE” AKA VOTE FOR ME! I JUST WANT YOUR VOTE

  3. Jimmy says:

    The AVI Decal is a joke, that program is so abused, it isn’t even funny. All of the out of state drivers with stickers and all of the people that have one and just hold it up out the window. No wonder, its been used and abused since the 1970’s. Reality has just catched up with it. EZ PASS is the way of the future. I love the “they can’t raise the tolls, its a public road” WRONG, The MdTA owns it and can do what the please with it!
    If you don’t like the tolls, then just move!

    1. chalkie says:

      I agree, they have abused that AVI sticker for years. You payed I think $25 a year to use the route 40 bridge. While everyone else was getting hosed by the tolls on evert other toll road in maryland. Its about time they pay thier fair share. I use to work in Elkton and Aberdeen and because I didn’t live up here I had to pay the regular EZ pass rates. And to everyone else this money does not go into the general fund of maryland. The MDTA is a self paying entity of maryland, they get no outside funding like other county and state roads. This money goes into route 50, 95, 895, and 301 for repairs and up keep to roads and bridges, it also goes into snow removal and roadside activities like trash clean up. If you read they needto fix or replace alot of bridges that will becoming unsafe in the future. So the trips you are all talking about come out of our taxes. I still see how high they want to take these tolls to as “HIGHWAY ROBBERY”. I can understand raising it some but to triple certain tolls is way out of hand.

  4. Mary says:

    We re paying enough in taxes,tolls & gas. I live in Harford County work in Delaware not worth me working, dont make that much money. Just make it from paycheck to paycheck. No vacations for me,can’t afford it.

  5. Jacque Broomell says:

    Cecil and Harford county residents are upset with this proposal by MdTA because they are looking to poorer, rural counties to fund the ICC, inter-county connector of urban Montgomery and Prince Georges counties. They need to pay off a $750 Million bond and are proposing to do this on the backs of lower socioeconomic earners. This would be an 800% increase of our toll rates while there is 0% proposed increase for both Montgomery and Prince Georges counties. Indeed, fair is fair. I say it’s time to dissolve the MdTA, let the State take over the upkeep of these resources as it’s all MD infrastructure used by MD residents. That way every Marylander is paying proportionally.

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