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by
Matt Vespa

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April 20, 2013 - 1:12 pm

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.

 

Matt Vespa is a conservative blogger who contributes to CNS News, RedState, Noodle Pundit, and was formerly with Hot Air's GreenRoom.

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When the rain stops, they will tax the sunshine.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our State is a deadly combination of blue and green.

I would point out that while the State excepted itself, this legislation does not exempt businesses. Our port for example will be charge $350,000/year for its impervious surfaces. I noted my grocery costs have jumped substantially. Any business with parking will have substantial additional pass-along charges to be absorbed.

Too add to the aggravation we are advised by experts that "residential runoff" is a minuscule contributor to the problem. We learned that water treatment facilities (WTF) above our Bay Bridge and Philadelphia are substantial contributors to the "pollution" issue. Of course our WTF trust funds were reduced to balance our budget, so they don't have the moneys available to correct their problems.

The final straw is that the new moneys will go into a "Special Fund" that will be subject to removal of moneys for other "more important priorities."
In 2017 we will get to pay for the WIND too (this will include added charges to the electric bills for residents/businesses/state & local governments), for a heavily subsidized small "Off-shore Wind Farm."

Any red-state residents who are thinking of going blue should pay attention to the insanities of Maryland, California, Illinois, Detroit and New York. You've never had it so good and so sane! Beware, Be wise and avoid blue/green boobies!
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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