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County council pursues bad fiscal, environmental policy

The Baltimore County Council is now touting a plan to repeal county stormwater fees altogether without describing how they will pay for projects to reduce polluted runoff ("Why Balto. Co. doesn't need the 'rain tax,'" Oct. 24). As a county taxpayer, I am extremely disappointed.

These fees were intended to distribute the costs of runoff pollution fairly according to the amount of pollution associated with the size of individual properties. Taxpayers are still going to have to pay for stormwater remediation, with or without the fees, as this is mandated by the EPA. But, by absorbing these costs from general funds, the council will be disproportionately passing them on to all taxpayers while giving a break to the largest polluters.

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Also, the fees are not and never have been a tax on the rain. Those who perpetuate this tired misleading slogan from last year's election are marginalizing the clean-up efforts. The repeal of the fees might be good for grandstanding, but it is bad policy. The Baltimore County Council should be setting an example for the stewardship and restoration of one of Maryland's most prized natural resources and keep in place a system that fairly distributes costs while incentivizing these goals.

Bill Deysher, Parkville

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