FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2016
Governor Larry Hogan Announces Additional $60 Million in Fee Cuts
Latest Round Includes 155 Fee Cuts or Eliminations – Bringing Total Fee, Tax, and Toll Reduction across State Government to $660 Million over the Last 18 Months
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced 155 fee reductions and eliminations across state government, saving Maryland businesses and taxpayers over $60 million over the next five years. The latest round of fee eliminations and cuts follows moves across state agencies last year to reduce fees, including tolls, by $270 million and other fees by over $50 million.
Through a series of actions in multiple state agencies, the Hogan administration will lower or eliminate 155 fees that are currently imposed on veterans, small businesses, single parents, homeless people, retirees, motorists, and many other groups. These cuts include the administration’s proposal to reduce the fees for replacement birth and death certificates, which will drop from $24 to $10 following the passage of legislation earlier this year. Additional fees cuts include reductions to the cost of E-ZPass transponders, reduced admission to state parks for veterans, cuts to the child support collection fee, and a $15 million slash to the surcharge billed to every single Marylander who gets a phone bill each month.
“In January, we announced a measure to reduce fees across state government, saving Maryland taxpayers an estimated $71 million. Some parts of that package passed the legislature, but the General Assembly refused to go far enough, leaving it up to our administration to find additional savings that can quickly go into effect without the need for new legislation,” said Governor Hogan.
“Reducing and eliminating taxes, tolls, and fees not only helps to streamline state government, it has a direct impact on the livelihood of Maryland citizens,” continued Governor Hogan. “This is another step our administration is taking to follow through and do exactly what we said we would do. Our goal is to make it easier to live, work, and retire in our state, and continue to change Maryland for the better.”
Fee cuts and eliminations announced by the administration today will not impact service delivery within agencies. Additionally, the elimination of fees associated with permits and licenses does not eliminate the requirement for individuals and businesses to apply for and receive necessary approvals to carry out activity regulated with the state.
The following fees are being cut or eliminated:
Fee elimination and reduction at the Maryland Department of Transportation will account for $7.76 million in savings and will include:
- The E-ZPass Transponder fee will be reduced from $9 to $7.50. In addition, the E-ZPass “On-The-Go” will be reduced from $34 to $32.50.
- The $20 veteran designation on driver’s licenses has been eliminated outside the time of renewal.
- The road side vendor lease application fee has been reduced from $500 to $100.
- The $250 Ag-Tourism signing program fee has been eliminated.
Fee elimination and reduction at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will account for $2.71 million in savings and will include:
- Military veterans will be admitted to all Maryland State Parks for half price.
- Veterans will be admitted to all Maryland State Parks on Veteran’s Day free of charge.
Fee elimination and reduction in the Secretary of State’s office will account for $1.71 million in savings and will include:
- The processing fee for notaries is being reduced from $20 to $9.
- Certification of documents for birth/death, marriage/divorce, police records, etc. are being reduced from $5 to $2.
Fee elimination and reduction at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will account for almost $9 million in savings and will include:
- The $300 application fee for Hospice Care Programs is being eliminated.
- The autopsy report fee of $30 for first-degree relatives is being reduced to $25 and the $120 fee charged other individuals is being reduced to $100.
- The $50 licensing fee for each initial license for a Public Health HIV Testing Program is being eliminated along with the $50 license renewal.
Fee elimination and reduction at the Maryland Department of Information Technology will account for almost $15 million in savings and will include:
- Following approval by the Public Service Commission, the Universal Service Trust Fund Revised Surcharge will be reduced from 11 cents per month to 5 cents.
Fee elimination and reduction at the Maryland Department of Human Resources will account for almost $4.9 million in savings and will include:
- Reduction in the fee for new case applications for child support from $25 to $15.
- The Child Support Collection fee is being reduced from $25 to $15.
Fee elimination and reduction at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation will account for almost $1.3 million in savings and will include:
- Reductions in 42 fees for 38 different professional licenses (including cuts for horse owners, trainers, jockeys, and others in the horseracing industry).
Complete details on the tax and fee rollback can be found here.