Legislators seek to exempt Anne Arundel from stormwater fee provision

Two Anne Arundel County legislators say they’ve drafted legislation aimed at reversing the county’s recent adoption of a new stormwater management fee and exempting the county from the requirement that brought it about.

On Thursday, State Senator Bryan Simonaire and Delegate Steve Schuh, both Republicans representing Dist. 31, said their bill would remove Anne Arundel County from the list of jurisdictions that are under the mandate, which calls for a funding mechanism for projects related to stormwater management.

Currently, the state’s nine largest counties and Baltimore City fall under the 2012 law.

In a press release, the legislators said if their measure is approved during the next General Assembly session, the County Council could amend or repeal what Simonaire and Schuh referred to as the “rain tax.”

“Maryland’s rain tax has become the laughing stock of our nation,” Simonaire said in the release. “Our legislation takes the first step in repealing a money grabbing, overreaching and poorly thought out piece of county legislation.”

Schuh said Anne Arundel County already has the authority to allocate funds for stormwater projects, and could have met state and federal requirements by using existing resources without adopting a new fee.

“The state's stormwater bill of 2012 was intended to give local governments the authority to prioritize stormwater management projects in whatever manner they chose and to avoid the imposition of a statewide fee or tax,” he said. “The state bill did not require the counties to adopt a rain tax. The rain tax was a choice made by the County Council.”

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