Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Should the Feds Pay the Rain Tax, Too?

Harford County Executive David Craig fiercely defended his opposition to the state's stormwater remediation fee Monday night, pointing out that government property would be exempt from what has become known as the rain tax.

The rain tax, which Craig said last week he will work to repeal at both county and state levels, was just one of several controversial topics discussed at an Abingdon Community Council meeting Monday evening that nearly filled the Abingdon Library's main meeting room.
Craig has regularly said that he wants the federal and state governments to clean up their own house on pollution, and he reminded those at the Abingdon meeting that government properties are exempt from paying any locally imposed stormwater remediation fee.
This is an interesting point, that I have not seen raised before.  The "Rain Tax" is a tax on "impermeable surfaces", rooftops, driveways, parking lots etc, to raise money for the localities in Maryland affected  spend to ameliorate the effects of stormwater runoff.

The urban (and dense suburban) counties in Maryland chosen for this tax are all in the Washington DC vicinity, and many of them have large federal presences, military bases, large administrative centers etc.  Their impermeable footprint is much the same as that of a large business.  It would only be fair for the Federal Government to help pay the federally mandated costs that those federal facilities impose on the local governments.

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