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Gov. Hogan announces millions in cuts

Posted: 7:52 AM, Sep 16, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-16 07:52:06-04

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has announced plans to cut 100 fees across state government that he says "don't make any sense."

The fees to be cut include those for vehicle emissions tests, ID cards for homeless people and others in the agricultural sector for animal diagnostic tests. Hogan says he's only getting started and wants the help of lawmakers to cut more fees in the future.

The Hogan administration anticipates the move will save taxpayers about $51 million over the next five years. 

“We are very proud to announce another step our administration is taking to deliver relief to Maryland’s businesses and struggling families,” Hogan said. “Our entire focus has been making Maryland more competitive. By allowing Marylanders to keep more of their hard-earned money, rather than sending it to bureaucrats in Annapolis, they will have the chance to put those dollars back into our state’s economy. No longer will Maryland’s government ask ‘how much can we get?’ but will instead ask ‘how much can we give back?’”

Highlights, from a release provided by the Hogan administration: 

Fee elimination and reduction at the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) will account for $6.27 million in savings and will include:

  • Reduction to $1 for homeless identification cards
  • The previously announced elimination of Maryland’s $1.50 monthly EZ-Pass fees
  • $4 reduction in vehicle emissions test fees for self-service kiosk customers
  • 10% reduction in numerous business license fees associated with the sale and registration of new and used motor vehicles
  • Reduction or elimination of certain outdoor advertising fees
  • $10 reduction in MVA’s vehicle title correction fee

Fee elimination and reduction at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) will account for $1.78 million in savings and will include:

  • A range of business license fees in the Prevention & Health Promotion Administration
  • Numerous food manufacturing and processing license fees
  • Reduction in the three-year controlled dangerous substance (CDS) registration fee
  • $2,000 reduction in ambulatory surgery center fees

Fee elimination and reduction at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) will account for $1.09 million in savings and will include:

  • Multiple reductions in real estate broker, salesperson and home appraisal license fees
  • Numerous fees associated with financial regulations

Fee elimination and reduction at the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will account for $272,000 in savings and will include:

  • $65 reduction in annual license fee for veterinarians
  • 20% across-the-board reduction in lab fees for animal health diagnostics (115 individual fees)

Fee elimination and reduction at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) will account for $83,000 in savings and will include:

  • Elimination or reduction of business fees associated with asbestos contractor licenses
  • Elimination of license fees for underground storage tank technicians, removers and inspectors

Fee elimination and reduction at the Department of Natural Resources will account for $36,000 in savings and will include:

  • Elimination of state park boat launch fee for seniors with Golden Age Pass

Fee elimination and reduction at the Department of Human Resources (DHR) will account for $739,000 in savings and will include:

  • Elimination of MCVAR adoption application fees
  • Elimination of $25 child support income tax intercept fee

Full breakdown of the cuts available here

The Associated Press contributed to this report.