Pa. residents owe Md. $20M in tolls; Md. lawmakers want toll reciprocity deal

Dozens of state lawmakers signed their names to a letter asking a group of Maryland’s top leaders, including the governor, to force the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) to enter into a toll reciprocity agreement with Pennsylvania.

The letter, which was sent to the Board of Public Works with signatures from 38 state senators and House delegates, is asking the panel to prevent MDTA from seeking out a private collection company to recoup unpaid out-of-state tolls unless the agency negotiates the agreement.

Calling it a “common-sense approach,” the legislators point out that Maryland is owed hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid tolls from out-of-state residents.

Pennsylvania holds $20 million worth of the debt.

While the state has an easier time enforcing unpaid toll collections on in-state drivers, it’s a different story for drivers who don’t live in Maryland.

The lawmakers said the state’s system of photographing a license plate and sending bills in the mail is much tougher to do with out-of-state drivers and cannot flag their registration for nonrenewal like they can with Maryland residents.

In a separate release that included the attached letter, Del. Alfred Carr Jr., who represents parts of Montgomery County, offered a side-by-side comparison chart between Maryland and Pennsylvania.

One of the fields reads, “Reciprocity Agreements” listing Maryland as having “None despite enabling legislation” and Pennsylvania as having an “Agreement signed with Delaware in 2018.”

“A more sensible and sustainable plan would be to enter into reciprocity agreements with willing states,” the letter to the Board of Public Works reads. “Pennsylvania is willing to enter into a reciprocity agreement with Maryland and does not understand why Maryland would not want to participate.”

The Maryland Board of Public Works consists of Gov. Larry Hogan, State Comptroller Peter Franchot and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp.

Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy is a reporter and anchor at WTOP with more than 20 years of experience. He has reported from major events like the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 2016 Election Night at Trump Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami.

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