Rain tax unfair, wasteful, wrong

July 08, 2013

Thank you for publishing the commentary by Dee Hodges on the latest example of Annapolis' fiscal irresponsibility, the so-called "rain tax" ("Focusing on the wrong threat to the bay," July 4).

To her point that it doesn't deal with the real cause of poor Chesapeake Bay water quality, I also question how such a tax can be apportioned to taxpayers' property. Judging from local government discussions here in Harford County, there appears to be no objective procedure for apportionment based upon known principles of calculating runoff. Runoff from private rooftops, for example, doesn't always leave one's property boundaries because of rain capturing devices and highly permeable soil conditions.

Moreover, given Annapolis' reputation of raiding funds set aside for specific problems — the Transportation Trust Fund comes to mind — how can we be sure that the "rain tax" funds won't become another slush fund for Gov. Martin O'Malley and his colleagues and turn into grants to environmental lobby groups with their junk science agendas?

Charles Clough, Bel Air

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