Stormwater runoff carries nutrient and sediments from urban and suburban areas into our local streams and rivers, eventually making its way into the Chesapeake Bay. Local stormwater fees, or “rain taxes,” as they are sometimes called, help pay for infrastructure and programs that reduce urban and suburban runoff from municipalities in the Chesapeake Watershed. Stormwater fees have faced a lot of backlash in Maryland recently, especially in Montgomery County. The County has reworked stormwater fee legislation, after the law was successfully challenged in court by a local developer. (See here).
Introduced last Tuesday, the new stormwater fee law will face a public hearing next month. Reworking of the law redefines the stormwater runoff fee as an excise tax, which the county has the ability to collect. Hopefully this new version will pass without issue, as stormwater runoff fees are a necessary pollution reduction tool for urban and suburban areas in the Bay watershed.