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Governor Larry Hogan Announces Legislation To Repeal “Rain Tax”

House Bill 481 Repeals Storm Water Management Mandate, Returns Control To Local Governments

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Today, Governor Larry Hogan joined with county executives, legislators, and local business leaders to announce House Bill 481, a bill that will repeal the storm water management mandate, more commonly known as the “rain tax.”

“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 Governor Larry Hogan. “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.”

The legislation reflects the governor’s opposition to this mandate on local governments and reaffirms his view that local authorities should have the autonomy to determine their own options for funding storm water management programs.

“Harford County will continue to meet our storm water responsibilities and goals through existing revenues and other means, such as public-private partnerships, without the uneven and unfair mandates of the rain tax,” said Harford County Executive Barry Glassman. “I believe most Maryland counties are similarly committed to achieving these goals through their own programs.”

House Bill 481 is very similar to Senator Brochin’s (D, District 42) Senate Bill 36, which also seeks a repeal of the mandated tax on local governments for storm water management.

“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.

“NFIB and our members thank Governor Hogan for making tax reduction one of his first and most important priorities. The rain tax has been a huge burden and puts financial strain on our state’s smallest employers,” said Jessica Cooper, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. “Most of NFIB’s members in the counties enforcing the rain tax have seen significant increases in their taxes due to the rain tax. From surveying our members, they have reported their taxes increasing as much as $4,600 due to the rain tax, with an average seeing an increase of $1,900 or 17% in their taxes.”

Full text of House Bill 481 can be found here: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2015RS/bills/hb/hb0481f.pdf

 

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