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Maryland General Assembly
What's in a name affects attitudes: rain tax vs. stormwater fee
What's in a name affects attitudes: rain tax vs. stormwater fee

As the General Assembly debates repealing a hotly contested fee meant to pay for efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, it turns out the name you give that fee can make it less controversial. Proponents call it the stormwater fee. Critics, including Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, call it the rain tax. Two recent polls show how framing the issue can sway public attitudes. They were conducted as lawmakers debate repealing the three-year-old law, which mandated fees on residents and businesses in Baltimore City and the state's nine largest counties. The fees help pay for controlling polluted runoff from buildings and pavement, a problem for the bay. The Senate unanimously passed a bill...

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