Maryland Senate bill kills rain tax; House to consider it

Maryland Senate bill kills –rain tax”; House to consider it

The Maryland Senate unanimously passed a bill repealing the stormwater remediation fee, which Gov. Larry Hogan (R) calls the –rain tax.” The measure must now be taken up by the House of Delegates, where its fate is uncertain. Some members of the House have said that repeal is unnecessary because the original legislation gives counties the flexibility to cut back their fee or eliminate it altogether.

Gov. Hogan made repeal of the –rain tax” a centerpiece of his campaign, and he quickly introduced a bill to do so. That bill failed, but a similar bill introduced by Senate President Mike Miller (D) did pass, and environmentalists did not oppose it. Millerês bill repeals the fee that last yearês legislation set in Baltimore City and the stateês nine largest counties. Instead, Millerês bill requires the stateês largest jurisdictions to document the cost and funding source for their anti-pollution programs.

The original legislation, passed under Gov. Martin OêMalley, was in response to a federal program requiring states to come up with a way to pay for cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. In Maryland, the biggest source of pollution in the Bay is stormwater runoff.

Montgomery County, which had already started charging stormwater fees, would be mostly exempt from the new bill, according to The Washington Post.

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