State environmental officials signed off Tuesday on a list of projects aimed at reducing the amount of pollution that rain washes into the Chesapeake Bay.The envirolobby desperately wanted a land use tax that they could expand later to more jurisdictions (the "Rain Tax" only covered 5 heavily urban counties) and more things that offend them. They are still free to lobby that counties collect the tax of their own volition.
But advocates for the environment said the efforts proposed by the state's 10 largest jurisdictions are inadequate to the job of restoring the estuary.
Gov. Larry Hogan called the plans from Baltimore and the nine largest counties "innovative," and said they prove that the stormwater fee derided as the "rain tax" was unnecessary.
Hogan signed a law last year that gave jurisdictions the option not to collect it.
"Today's news further illustrates what many Marylanders and local officials have already known for years: the state does not need to impose yet another burdensome tax on homeowners and job creators in order to successfully manage stormwater runoff," Hogan said in a statement.
A coalition of environmental groups, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Maryland League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, had urged the state to reject the plans.