Md. Gov. Hogan offers plan to cut rain tax,ê gas tax
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is working to carry out his campaign pledge to cut taxes, starting with the stormwater remediation fee that requires Marylandês largest counties to charge fees on impervious surfaces to pay for stormwater cleanup, which opponents have dubbed the rain tax.
Hogan has introduced a bill to repeal the fee. But even if it passes the Democrat-controlled state legislature a big if eliminating a tax created in response to a federal mandate is not so simple. Federal law requires that the state come up with a way to raise money to pay for cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay, and counties had asked the state legislature for specific requirements. In 2017, those counties will have to show what they have done to meet the federal mandate.
A court decision has already made the fees optional. A recent Washington Post/University of Maryland poll found that 65 percent of residents support reducing the fee. Baltimore County has already reduced its fee, and Harford County has repealed its fee.
Governor Hogan also wants to repeal a planned increase in the gas tax passed in 2013 as part of a transportation funding package. Under the current plan, the tax would automatically rise each year in line with inflation, and Hoganês proposed transportation budget would eliminate that increase.
The transportation bill overall cuts nearly $3 billion from road and transit projects, according to the Washington Post. The stateês highways and bridges are greatly in need of repair and replacement, and some lawmakers say the governorês budget would put Metroês Purple line at risk.
State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. told the Post that Hoganês transportation budget would never pass the Senate.Download Bulletin PDF