Judge strikes down Montgomerys approach to the rain tax

Judge strikes down Montgomeryês approach to the rain tax

A Montgomery County judge struck down the Water Quality Protection Charge, a.k.a. the –rain tax,” this week. Unless the case is successfully appealed, the ruling by Judge Nelson W. Rupp, Jr. will likely mean the county has to revise its regulations and procedures governing the fee, according to the Daily Record.

–This does not kill the rain tax, but it will require the county to impose assessments more fairly and consistently,” said dealer attorney and WANADA Kindred line member Michael Charapp, Charapp & Weiss, LLP.

The Maryland General Assembly transferred the responsibility of figuring out the rain tax from the state to the counties. The state law that requires counties to come up with a way to pay for stormwater cleanup remains in place leaving it to the counties to figure out who to asses storm water fees to and at what rate.

The judge said that under the state law, counties may charge only to recover their stormwater management costs and may not levy a fee greater than that. The case was a victory for developer Paul N. Chod, whom the county charged a $11,000 stormwater fee for his 34-acre Shady Grove Development Park in Gaithersburg.

The county has not yet said whether it will appeal the decision or simply go back to the drawing board to come up with a different approach consistent with the courtês decision.

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