ABINGDON, Md. - Harford County Executive David Craig, a Republican running for governor, announced his plans to repeal his county’s storm water management fees, dubbed by many as the “rain tax.”
The fees were passed by the council earlier this year after the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation requiring 10 local jurisdictions to pay for reducing storm water runoff. However, each jurisdiction was given the freedom to develop their own fee structure, which the law required to be in effect by July 1.
Harford's fees were to be $125 for residential and agricultural properties, and $7 for every 500 square feet of impervious surface for commercial properties.
The bill as passed by the council in April allowed property owners to pay 10 percent of the full rate to be collected this year while a task force of citizens studied the state mandate and the fees in order to recommend a course of action for the future.
Craig, who plans on introducing his legislation to the council Oct. 1, made his announcement Boyle Buick GMC Truck in Abingdon. He chose that location to highlight the impact the fee will have on businesses with large impervious surfaces. Craig said the business is scheduled to pay $295 in 2014 and $2,953 when the full amount of the bill would be due.
Craig released the following statement on his decision.
“When we passed local legislation pursuant to the new state law requiring that certain counties charge a Storm water Remediation Fee, better known as the 'Rain Tax,' we did so provisionally and in good faith in order to remain in compliance with the new law by the specified deadline to avoid the costly penalties that had been threatened. At the time we had, however, many serious questions regarding this state-required fee and the projects that it would fund.
“To date none of our questions have been adequately answered by the State of Maryland or the EPA. In fact if anything, there are even more questions. I am now of the opinion that the leadership in Annapolis is no longer in a position to follow through on the threatened penalties for noncompliance given the public backlash that their 'Rain Tax' mandate has rightly received.”
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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