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Time to flush the 'rain tax'

The Baltimore Sun editorial ("Bogus rain tax repeal," Nov. 24) neglects to mention that in passing the House Bill 987 Stormwater Management-Watershed and Restoration Program, the "rain tax" in response to the 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandate aimed at reducing the pollution levels in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland is the only state in the watershed to have actually listened to the federal agency.

The EPA called on these states to pass legislation limiting the Total Maximum Daily Load. Our legislature was quick to jump on these recommendations but only for nine counties and Baltimore City. Also, all the federal government properties with huge impervious areas are just ignoring or refusing to pay their share. The counties themselves are also all over the place in how they are enforcing the fees. Some are using the formula originally proposed, others are using a flat rate and some are not taxing their homeowners and businesses at all.

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We pay a Chesapeake Bay restoration fee ("flush tax") on our water bill of $60 per year to clean up the bay and our county executive imposed a $90 "rain tax" as a flat fee to all rather than try to figure out the impervious surfaces in Howard County. I hope Governor-elect Larry Hogan can put an end to this excuse by Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown to grab money from every person in Maryland.

Craig Garfield, Ellicott City

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