Marylanders Are Very Confused About the Rain Tax

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Governor Larry Hogan tried (and failed) to repeal the so-called rain tax earlier this month. But despite all the headlines about the controversial 2012 law, it turns out that most Marylanders have completely the wrong idea about the rain tax.

A recent survey found that half of Marylanders surveyed thought the rain tax meant that they’d be taxed every time it rains. It does not mean that. When they were told what the rain tax actually does (taxes businesses to raise funds to clean up stormwater runoff that feeds into the Chesapeake Bay), two-thirds of respondents were in favor it.

Sounds like the rain tax needs a new name.

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  1. Is the author of this article actually in favor of yet another tax? Is this just another “people are so stupid–if they only understood that ALL taxes are GOOD!” article? This tax does not just affect businesses, it affects individual homeowners as well. This tax has made this state a bit of a laughing stock by people who actually DO understand what it is. (Although if I am understanding correctly, the bill was so poorly written and convoluted that counties have leave to ‘interpret’ it as they wish.)
    This may (rightfully) affect O’Malley’s bid for presidency.

  2. This entire state is a laughing stock. Tax, tax, tax is all they know. You want to cross the bay bridge, they call it a toll, it’s actually a tax…wake up people!

  3. I’m afraid this article is only contributing to misinformation about the “rain tax” more than it’s clarifying.

    1. The rain tax does NOT need a new name because that’s not its name. It’s the Maryland Stormwater Fee. The nickname “rain tax” was created by opponents of the bill with the intention of misleading the public, so let’s not perpetuate the confusion by continuing to call it the rain tax.

    2. The Maryland Stormwater Fee is NOT only a tax for businesses Individuals pay it too. As a renter in Baltimore City, I’m responsible for my water bill and I’ve been paying $10 for the stormwater fee on every water bill since Nov 2013.

    3. Its only purpose is NOT to clean up stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake. Besides going towards the process of decontaminating our water supply, funds from the rain tax are used to prevent flooding after big rains.

    Finally, in response to other comments by people that think this is a NEW tax: Runoff was being dealt with way before the stormwater runoff fee existed. When there isn’t a separate fund for stormwater management (such as the stormwater fee) the public pays for it to get taken care of in other ways, like higher property taxes. Stormwater management isn’t optional. Runoff undeniably has to be dealt with for everyone’s immediate health and safety (not just some future global warming reason). And since it’s a job that has to be done, it’s a job that has to be paid for – with or without the rain tax (unless republicans expect it as a handout).

    We all know that no matter which party is in charge, the government does inefficient work and overspends, but that’s a separate discussion.

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