Lawmakers debate future of 'rain tax'

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Will Baker is President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and his group is concerned that the legislature will alter the rain tax bill they passed 2 years ago. When it rains, soft surfaces like gardens and grass soak up the rain, but hard surfaces like concrete, driveways and rooftops let the water runoff into the bay and take all the pollutants with it.

"Bacteria runoff has closed our beaches.  In the Bay alone, many thousands of miles are impaired due to polluted runoff," Baker said.

Some residents agree with the new tax.

"You have to do something or it's not going to be alive in it," Al Stapf, supporter of the rain tax said.

When Maryland passed the tax, the state left it up to the local jurisdictions to set the prices. This has frustrated and confused some tax payers.

"One guy down the street pays 70 bucks. I pay 200. It doesn't make sense," Joni McDuffie, an opponent to the rain tax said.

The Eastport Yacht Club paves their parking lot with a pricier porous pavement. They say it's worth it.

"The value of helping the knowing the helping of water quality. Let's face it we are in a Yacht Club, we love the Bay," Scott Miller from the Commodore Eastport Yacht Club said.

Legislators will review two bills about the rain tax. One proposes to eliminate the tax altogether, another one will delay the tax for a year or so to give the state more time to do a study.

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