- By Delegate Mike McDermott
If “reasonable” is the term used by the Daily Times to describe a 300% toll increase for a bridge that is currently self sustaining, I do not want to know what theyconsider “unreasonable”.
The Bay Bridge has generated about one billion dollars in revenue since it has been open. It has been paid for time and again. The money that it generates should go towards maintenance and upkeep. This would seem “reasonable”.
The MTA does not argue that the Bay Bridge is self sustaining. Many would argue that it is far beyond self sustaining, particularly when viewed in agregate totals over the decades.
New MTA projects, which many deemed ill advised, such as the ICC (Inner County Connecter) and the I-95 expansions require vast sums of cash. It would seem “reasonable” to let the user pay for their construction and upkeep. It is noteworthy that the proposed MTA Toll fees do not include any increases for users of the ICC.
As we slip further in the ranking of states in which to conduct business (now at 46 out of 50) , does it seem “reasonable” to raise the cost of commerce by requiring a company now paying $18 to pay $60 to move their goods across the bay? The bills for some of our major companies will be raised by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As people struggle everyday with the job market, does it seem wise and “reasonable” to take away hundreds of dollars of discretionary spending out of the hands of those who must cross over on a daily basis? The estimated increased cost for a two income household living on the shore with a daily commute accross the bay is over $900.00.
The Times laments the days of Governor Tawes and the “gentle pursuasion” in Annapolis. In those days, most members of the General Assembly were folks who signed the front of a paycheck and they understood the need for a thriving business economy. In those days, they would never have agreed to a 50% tax increase or a 300% fee increase for they new the problems it would create and the competive edge that would be lost.
I doubt seriously that Governor Tawes would sign a bill giving illigal aliens the same benefits as American citizens, or that he would be the champion of a bill promoting cross dressers and transgenders.
In fact, the last time I was in the Governor’s Signing Room at the State House, I took a long look at the grand painting of our great governor from the Eastern Shore...and I believe it was tears that I saw.
Let us take back Maryland from such “reasonable” people.