The new tax for Democrats concerns water. Yes, rain water is being taxed in Maryland.
Rain has a price. A last ditch attempt to delay a new stormwater fee failed this week and now Maryland residents could get an unexpected bill this summer.
When rain falls, pollutants get flushed into the Chesapeake Bay and because of that the fees will go into effect – a move critics are slamming as a “rain tax.”
The Watershed Protection and Restoration Program was signed into law in April 2012. It established “a system of stormwater remediation fees and a local watershed protection and restoration fund,” according to the Maryland Department of Environment’s Water Management Administration.
Residents in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Charles counties already pay a similar fee but it will soon apply to residents and businesses in all of Maryland’s 10 largest jurisdictions:
- Anne Arundel County
- Baltimore City
- Baltimore County
- Carroll County
- Charles County
- Frederick County
- Harford County
- Howard County
- Montgomery County
- Prince George’s County
Residents could see levies ranging from $10-200 starting July 1, 2013. Hot Air’s Mary Katherine Ham, who posted this on April 19, cites the Baltimore Sun’s argument for this tax.
In 2012, the legislature approved a new program to reduce the fastest-growing source of water pollution in this state: stormwater runoff. What may fall as ordinary rain quickly picks up such contaminants as lawn and garden fertilizers, pet waste, septic tank overflow, chemicals like motor oil, litter and chemicals produced by cars and industry.
Hard, impervious surfaces make this problem much worse. Instead of naturally filtering into the ground, the pollution is sped along to vulnerable streams and rivers and eventually, at least for most of the state, the Chesapeake Bay.
These hard surfaces, such as roads and buildings, have rapidly increased over the last two decades. Between 1990 and 2007, the amount grew by an estimated 34 percent in the bay watershed even as population grew by only 18 percent. Lawmakers finally recognized that something needed to be done — particularly if the state and local governments are to meet the Chesapeake Bay “pollution diet” goals enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
This brings a whole new definition to “tax and spend” liberal.