MARYLAND

Maryland laws go into effect today

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The cost of living in Maryland just went up.

Up 3.5 cents a gallon at the pump.

Up a couple bucks at the Bay Bridge toll booth.

And up in 10 counties as part of the so-called rain tax.

Mike Vrettakos, filling up his SUV in Bethesda, is already feeling the new fees.

“It just doesn't end, there's always another tax and more that's needed, always,” he says.

The rising prices at the pump served as the backdrop for angry Maryland republican lawmakers unhappy that July 1 is new tax day.
AAA estimates for the average Maryland driver the increased gas tax will add about $20 bucks a year.

The stormwater utility fee, or rain tax ranges, from 1 cent in Frederick County to $144 in Baltimore City for a single family home of 2,000 square feet.

As for the tolls, the Bay Bridge will now cost you $6 to get across, part of an effort that's expected to raise $90 million in the first year alone to fund transportation projects.

The increase in transportation fees are among more than 100 new laws taking effect on Monday. Here is a sample:

-Early voting will expand from six to eight days. The number of early voting sites will increase.

-Same sex couples can file state income taxes jointly

-The state’s Smoke Alarm Law has changed. Over the next few years, existing homeowners must upgrade their smoke alarm coverage. The law requires a minimum of one smoke alarm on every level of the home. Homeowners will be required to own sealed battery operated smoke alarms that contain long life batteries and hush buttons. These new smoke alarms will eventually replace the 9-volt battery alarms common in most people’s homes.

-The State Athletic Commission will license and regulate amateur MMA and amateur kickboxing. All participants must undergo drug testing. Those who refuse face fines up to $5,000.

Maryland is not the only jurisdiction that will see changes come Monday. Hundreds of new laws will take effect in Virginia including changes in gasoline and diesel taxes, annual fees on hybrid and electrical cars, and an increase in the sales tax.

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