Maryland localities rolling out storm water fees in accord with July 1 state mandate[I]Dealers and other organizations will see new fees on property tax bills[/I]
As has been extensively reported here and widely publicized elsewhere, dealers and other businesses, along with churches and other charitable organizations which have improved real estate can expect to see a new assessment on their property tax bills for storm water management.
Washington area counties in Maryland covered by the new Rain Tax fees are Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard, Frederick and Charles, each of which has established its own approach to compliance with the state mandate, to include the level of assessment. County environmental managers and property tax assessors have determined what businesses with stores and parking lots will pay, along with what credits, if any, will be allowed for storm water management systems. Examples of such systems are storm water collection ponds and parking decks constructed with pervious materials that channel or permit storm water to go directly into the ground instead of into storm water drains that will ultimately reach regulator targeted watersheds, like the Chesapeake Bay.
Since such fee assessments by county operatives are rough estimates at this point, dealers are advised to appeal the new fees with the county rather than paying tax bills as rendered. Going forward, it is advisable to have a storm water management plan in place for the dealership that can be developed and executed by contractors with expertise in environmental law compliance. One such contractor brought to WANADAs attention is Soltesz, a Rockville firm, which has a track record working with dealerships and other businesses in managing their property compliance obligations under the law. For more information on Soltesz, check them out at www.solteszco.com.
Because of widespread pushback from business tax payers across the state, it is likely that the Maryland General Assembly in its regular session next year will review the storm water fees it enacted into law in 2012 that is just kicking in this month. See WANADAs May 7 background paper to Maryland dealers on storm water fees from Gerard Murphy by clicking here.Download Bulletin PDF