Basing 'rain tax' on lot size is wrong [Letter]

June 26, 2013

I have read that the county executive has proposed a change to the stormwater tax that would make the tax $45 for homes on 1/4 acre or less and $90 for homes with bigger lots (see story, page 8). I am strongly opposed to this distinction. There is not a big difference between a home on 1/2 acre and one on 1/4 acre, but the home on the larger lot has a smaller runoff impact because there is a bigger yard that can absorb the runoff within its boundaries. If anything, the house on the smaller lot should pay more than the house on the larger lot! I am not suggesting this, but I do feel strongly that the distinction in lot sizes in Ken Ulman's proposal is the wrong way to go.

It is clear that the details of implementing this tax were not thought through well before it was enacted at the state level, and if the county wants to make it a flat amount for all homeowners as an interim measure while working on a better arrangement, that is fine, but to make people who cause less runoff pay twice as much in tax as those who cause more runoff is blatantly unfair.

Angie Boyter

Ellicott City

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