E-ZPass transpon­der cost to drop July 1

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - WHIG STAFF RE­PORT

— Com­muters buy­ing a new E-ZPass transpon­der will pay less start­ing July 1, thanks to the lat­est round of fee re­duc­tions and elim­i­na­tions ini­ti­ated by Gov. Larry Ho­gan.

Ho­gan an­nounced 155 cuts, which he said would “put thou­sands of dol­lars back into the pock­ets of hard-work­ing Mary­land fam­i­lies.”

The cost of a new transpon­der will drop from $9 to $7.50. The pre-paid “On-The-Go” EZPass that comes loaded with $25 in tolls will drop from $34 to $32.50.

“In Jan­uary, we an­nounced a mea­sure to re­duce fees across state gov­ern­ment, sav­ing Mary­land tax­pay­ers an es­ti­mated $71 mil­lion,” Ho­gan said Thurs­day.

He noted that some of his pack­age did not make it through the Mary­land Gen­eral Assem­bly, which left his ad­min­is­tra­tion to seek ad­di­tional ways to save with­out leg­isla­tive ap­proval.

Pete Rahn, trans­porta­tion sec­re­tary and chair­man of the

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Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity, said the ben­e­fit would be huge.

“This one change will pump more than a quar­ter of a mil­lion dol­lars back into our fam­i­lies and econ­omy each year,” he said.

Some 230,000 transpon­ders are sold statewide each year, of­fi­cials re­ported.

Other changes in­clude re­mov­ing the $20 cost to in­clude the vet­eran des­ig­na­tion on a driver’s li­cense, re­duc­ing the cost to process no­taries from $20 to $9, and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of such doc­u­ments as mar­riage, birth and death records drops from $5 to $2. Mil­i­tary vet­er­ans will also re­ceive half-price ad­mis­sion to Mary­land State Parks all year and free ad­mis­sion on Vet­er­ans Day.

Nu­mer­ous pro­fes­sional fees have been elim­i­nated, in­clud­ing the fees for re­li­cens­ing a com­pre­hen­sive care fa­cil­ity. As­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­i­ties pur­su­ing re-li­cens­ing will see that cost drop any­where from $150 to more than $1,200 de­pend­ing on the num­ber of beds, of­fi­cials re­ported.

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