By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun
9:17 PM EDT, May 20, 2013
Anne Arundel County's stormwater fee hasn't been collected yet, but the County Council has already changed it.
By a 7-0 vote Monday night, council members agreed to reduce the maximum fee that commercial property owners would pay and to phase in the fee for some property owners.
The changes were made to make the stormwater fee more palatable to County Executive Laura Neuman, who vetoed the stormwater fee that the council passed earlier this spring.
Owners of nonresidential properties still must pay based on the percentage of their lot that's covered by impervious surfaces such as parking lots and rooftops. But they'll be capped at the equivalent of 25 percent of their annual property tax, instead of 35 percent in the original version of the stormwater fee.
And for any fee that is greater than $500 per year, there will be a three-year phase-in period, under the bill passed Monday.
Residential property owners will still pay $34 per year for townhomes, $85 for most single-family homes and $170 for rural homes.
On Thursday morning, the County Council will consider four more bills that would further amend the stormwater fee, all sponsored by Councilman Jamie Benoit, a Democrat from Crownsville.
The state's nine largest counties and Baltimore City are required to start collecting a fee July 1 to pay for stormwater pollution control projects under a law passed by the General Assembly in 2012. Stormwater is a source of nutrient and sediment pollution that harms the Chesapeake Bay.
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