Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan delivers his State of the State address Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 in Annapolis, Md. Hogan outlined plans for tax relief, charter schools and reforms to the state’s legislative redistricting process. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
– The Washington Times –
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan took the first step toward repealing the state’s “rain tax,” which is levied on property owners for land with impervious surfaces to pay for EPA-mandated programs to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
“Passing a state law that forces counties to raise taxes on their citizens against their will is not the best way to address the issue,” said Mr. Hogan, a Republican. “Marylanders have made perfectly clear that further taxing struggling and already overtaxed Marylanders for the rain that falls on the roof of their homes was a mistake that needs to be corrected.”
He made the announcement surrounded by county executives, legislators and business leaders.
“The rain tax is less about cleaning up the Bay than it is about imposing another tax on our citizens, as Carroll County found out last year when the attorney general threatened us with a $10,000 a day fine for not levying one,” said Delegate Haven Shoemaker, Carroll Republican.
The “rain tax” was one of the most unpopular taxes levied under former Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat who is considering a 2016 presidential run.
If the repeal is successful, the state will have to replace the revenue to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s unfunded mandate for the $14.8 billion clean-up plan, which seeks to decrease stormwater runoff into the Bay.