Skip to comments.No, really: Maryland has a tax on rain now
Posted on 04/18/2013 7:33:28 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Oh, my neighbors to the near north are always finding new and interesting ways to torment their citizens with new taxes. The state just plopped an escalating tax on top of its 23.5-cent gas tax, and now there’s a tax on rainfall.
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
Prince George’s County
Not incidentally, those 10 jurisdictions are also where all the moolah is in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun, which totes loves this tax explains the rationale:
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.
Note that Maryland’s hand is not exactly being forced by the EPA, here, as the Sun implies. A federal court ruled in January that the EPA cannot enforce “pollution diet” goals by taking a “surrogate approach” to regulating rainfall runoff.
And, in Maryland, good luck trusting the government to actually use this fund for its stated purpose. Here’s the reason Maryland has a new gas tax, as I noted in February:
Governed by Democratic presidential aspirant Martin OMalley, the state raided more than $1 billion from the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund to pay for non-transportation projects. After appropriating those funds for the General Fund and refusing to put them back, OMalley is of course asking for a hefty gas tax increase for underfunded transportation priorities. Maryland is essentially a one-party state, but one Democrat, State Comptroller Peter Franchot has warned OMalleys gas tax hike will hurt the economy and wont even be used to improve infrastructure.
If we move forward in this direction with this gas tax increase, its going to be for general fund relief, not traffic congestion relief.
The Democrat fools of Maryland wanted a marxist dictator and they got him.
O’Malley fooled a lot of people who thought he was a law and order Democrat. Also, Miller and Ruppesburger fooled the public who voted for them. THey are O’Malley’s lackies and stooges, which would make them all the “Three Stooges” of 2013.
However, the jokes are on the Maryland public. Glad I left when the first signs of decline started. I used to know honest politicians from Baltimore but that was a long time ago. Nothing but crooks, crazies and commies ever since.
Well, you eventually get what you deserve, and Marylanders, you just got it in spades. Enjoy your suffering. I am.
Old Chinese saying: “There is no limit to stupidity” and you proved it. Now pay for it!
Here’s your chance to get the word out in a timely fashion....
why?? To move in the liberals to Republican counties.
Now the Red is Blue
Now they raise taxes and taxes and taxes
About 15 years ago I suggested a development tax to pay for all the new schools and roads that will be built to support the new neighborhoods, but no, the Dems here found it more useful to wait and raise all our taxes.
No free market corrections here.
UN Agenda 21: Make staying alive so expensive for the peasants that they stop doing it.
Just taking after Florida. Florida has had some of the most aggressive stormwater rules in the country. Pretty much any development, with the exception of single family rural type home, has to provide both treatment and attenuation of stormwater runoff. Real rules started going into effect in the 80’s. Recently there’s been a push through the Florida Dept. Of Environmental Protection to force retrofit of EVERY development to come into meeting the new requirements that FDEP is trying to get put into effect; namely a total mass density loading of things like phosphorous, nitrates, etc. We’re talking every office building, housing development, etc building some kind of pond, and if I remember correctly wet ponds would not meet the new removal criteria. Imagine in low-lying Florida how much fill you’d have to bring onto a site to have a dry bottomed 5 foot deep “pond”. I don’t recall right now how many tens of BILLIONS of dollars the last cost estimate to do all that was. Thankfully when Gov. Scott came into office he put a hold on all those proposed rule changes.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
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