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Rain Tax

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NEWS
April 22, 2013
I was quite amused by The Sun's efforts to set the record straight concerning the rain tax ("The 'rain tax' sham," April 17). After reading your editorial, one can only conclude that any sensible individual interested in curbing pollution must be for the rain tax and anybody against the tax must favor pollution. Really? The vast majority of your readers, if not all, favor reducing pollution. My hunch, however, is that the majority of readers do not support the rain tax and for good and just concerns.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | June 16, 2014
In Severna Park, candidates repeat two words again and again this primary season: rain tax. County Councilman Dick Ladd, a Republican who represents Severna Park, Arnold and Broadneck in the 5th District, is being targeted by six challengers, most of whom criticize him for voting for the county's stormwater fees, derided as the "rain tax" by opponents. "People are worried about taxes. People don't like the rain tax that not only Dick Ladd voted for, but said he voted for with pleasure," said Republican challenger Joseph M. Campbell.
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NEWS
June 14, 2013
While I am completely against the "rain tax" anyway, I especially resent it for me and the rest of the homeowners like me ("Churches seek break on city stormwater fee," June 12). The rain that falls on my house, garage and driveway does not go into a storm drain or a creek that feeds the Chesapeake Bay. There are no such releases for this water where I live. No storm drains, and the nearest creek is a quarter-mile away. Instead, it is absorbed into the ground, a natural cycle. This is how nature intended it. I and the other homeowners like me should be exempt from this absurd tax. Clay Seeley, Owings Mills
NEWS
May 12, 2014
Regarding your recent editorial on the collapse in Chesapeake Bay crabs ( "Bay crab population decreases," May 1), another rain tax, gas tax, bottle tax, drink tax, luxury tax, crab imperial tax, Three Stooges tax, iPhone tax and iPad tax should fix the problem. Joseph Brugh - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
July 8, 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.
NEWS
June 18, 2013
In Baltimore City, the rain tax will be a tax on the homeless and poor ("Religious groups pushing for city stormwater fee reduction," June 11). Churches and non profits located in the city will be forced to raise money for the exorbitant rain tax. Instead of asking for donations to fill the food pantries and provide meals for the poor, the churches and non profits will be collecting money for the rain tax. A tax which creates a slush fund for "public...
NEWS
October 27, 2013
The Maryland stormwater fee known as the "rain tax" seems to be a retroactive levy that should be unconstitutional. Penalizing property owners for existing conditions over which they may have had no control is unreasonable. It's a good idea to encourage more permeable surfaces in the Chesapeake Bay region. The "rain tax" is the politician's approach - easy to invoke, raises money, does little to encourage good practice. That approach is also arbitrary and capricious. After all, who has more impervious surfaces than the cities of Annapolis or Baltimore?
NEWS
By David R. Craig | September 17, 2013
Of the 40 new taxes, fees and tolls the O'Malley-Brown administration has enacted, the most egregious is the so-called rain tax. It is a national embarrassment and a case study in ill-conceived public policy. Officially known as the "Stormwater Management Watershed Protection and Restoration Program," it requires 10 Maryland counties to adopt and implement local ordinances to reduce runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. In government jargon, this legislation establishes an annual stormwater remediation fee and a local watershed protection and restoration fund.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2013
Harford County Executive David R. Craig, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor in 2014, will use an auto dealership as a backdrop Tuesday for an attack on the storm water management fee that opponents have dubbed the "rain tax. " Craig will appear at the Boyle Buick GMC Truck dealership in Abingdon to criticize the impact of the fee on businesses that have large areas of parking lot and other impervious surfaces. The fee, which finances projects to decrease the amount of nutrient runoff into the Chesapeake Bay, is based on the amount of impervious surface a property owner owns.
NEWS
November 4, 2013
With the 2014 general election almost exactly one year away, at least five of Maryland's gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to debate environmental issues for the first time tomorrow in Annapolis. No doubt questions will range from smart growth to climate change to the future of the Chesapeake Bay, but surely no topic is likely to prove more contentious than what Maryland should do about polluted run-off from city and suburban streets. Voters would be wise to pay attention to what the candidates have to say on the subject as it may prove the best way to sort those who claim to care about clean water from those who are willing to do something about it. The political grandstanding over the state's "rain tax" has been one of the more disheartening developments to hit the local environmental movement in recent years.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2014
Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan said Tuesday night that he would focus on controlling Maryland's spending before moving to roll back what he called the "40 consecutive tax increases" adopted under Gov. Martin O'Malley. Appearing at a Baltimore Sun Newsmaker Forum, Hogan told more than two dozen attendees reigning in the growth of government has to come before some of the ambitious tax-cutting plans advanced by his Republican opponents. "What we will first do is get spending under control," Hogan said, adding that spending has grown by $10 billion during O'Malley's two terms as governor.
NEWS
April 16, 2014
It's time for conservatives, Republicans, moderate Democrats and independents to end the liberal Democrats' one-party rule of Maryland. The latest example of that is Annapolis' reckless passage of the so called "Fairness for all Marylanders Act of 2014," which will permit men to share public bathrooms with women and girls ( "Assembly passes transgender rights bill," March 27). This foolish law will become effective on Oct. 1 and enough is enough already. We've seen liberal Democrats raise the gas tax, force small businesses to leave Maryland because of onerous regulations, impose a nickel bag tax at stores in Montgomery County and a rain tax on property owners, and run wealthy taxpayers out of the state.
NEWS
April 8, 2014
Two years ago, the General Assembly passed a law requiring Maryland's 10 largest jurisdictions to begin imposing a stormwater fee to cover the costs of reducing pollution that results when rain sweeps dog droppings, pesticides, motor oil and other harmful muck into streams and rivers. Worsened by the rising amount of impervious surfaces (driveways, parking lots, rooftops and so on) in the region, such runoff is a major source of pollution into the Chesapeake Bay, and the fee's adoption was hailed as part of a banner year for the environmental movement.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | February 17, 2014
Once, when heavy rain hit the roof of the Maryland Presbyterian Church in Towson, there was so much runoff that it would wash away the wood chips and soil that cover the children's play area. Today, the church on Providence Road uses rain barrels and a rain garden to help filter the water - and reduce the polluted runoff that eventually makes its way to the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland Presbyterian is one of many religious and nonprofit groups in Maryland that are trying to address that pollution, an effort that has grown more urgent now that they must pay the state's new stormwater management fee. The church's fee - dubbed "the rain tax" by critics - comes to about $1,000 a year.
NEWS
January 21, 2014
I'm so grateful that the voters in Maryland don't have to worry about contacting our legislators in Annapolis to present our views on the rain tax. Thank you, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch for making the decision for us that there will be no repeal ( "Miller, Busch vow no repeal of stormwater fees," Jan. 16). Thanks to you, we have avoided that pesky legislative process. Perhaps we should just eliminate the General Assembly and elections so Messrs.
FEATURES
By Pamela Wood and The Baltimore Sun | January 16, 2014
The leaders of the Senate and House of Delegates predicted Thursday morning that lawmakers won't be repealing the stormwater fees in the state's largest jurisdictions this year. At a breakfast hosted by the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. responded to a question about whether the fees would be repealed by saying flatly: "We're not going to repeal the stormwater fee. " House Speaker Michael E. Busch then quickly piped up: "Second!"
NEWS
May 11, 2013
Does it not rain in every part of the state of Maryland? Of course, it does ("Craig signs scaled down Harford 'rain tax' bill into law," May 3). That fact makes me wonder why only the 10 most populous jurisdictions are required to pay the so-called "rain tax. " The runoff in the western-most counties eventually flows into the Potomac River, which then empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The counties on the Eastern Shore are currently exempt from this...
NEWS
October 2, 2013
The Harford County Council introduced County Executive David Craig's bill to repeal the statewide sediment fee, known as the "rain tax," during its Tuesday night meeting. Craig announced plans to repeal the state bill within Harford County earlier this month and has been regularly challenging it, saying the state has not explained how the fee will actually help the Chesapeake Bay and accusing the government of failing to clean up its own house, environmentally speaking.
NEWS
Editorial from The Aegis | December 10, 2013
Harford County Executive David Craig's ill-fated plan to repeal the so-called "rain tax" has been revealed for the campaign ploy that it was, but the problems with the law requiring the levy still need to be addressed. Enacted by the Maryland General Assembly and signed into law by the governor, the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act is the law of the state, and it requires each county to levy a stormwater management fee with the money being used to mitigate the effects of what is known in government jargon as non-point-source pollution.
NEWS
December 4, 2013
Few enactments emanating from Maryland's General Assembly have gained as much intense and prolonged debate as the unfunded mandate placed upon Maryland's 10 largest jurisdictions to carry out stormwater management projects.  Popularly known as the "rain tax," the legislation sought to compel the state's largest jurisdictions to implement new fees to pay for these projects. The controversy over the rain tax has continued unabated as each of the affected jurisdictions determines how to deal with this state mandate.
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