With the end of Maryland's legislative session and the passage of SB 863, which repealed the Republican dubbed "rain tax" (properly, the stormwater remediation fee), many believed that protection for the Chesapeake Bay against pollution might have diminished ("Repeal of 'rain tax' requirement yet to trickle down to most area homeowners," April 19). However, Environment Maryland and other environmental groups alike are excited that the repeal may have actually made stronger efforts to protect the bay.
It is important to note that the so-called "rain tax" was never a tax on rain itself, but rather a fee to enable the remediation of polluted runoff rainwater before it enters the Chesapeake Bay. It was a fee that would allow Marylanders to continue basking in the resources the bay offers them — whether recreational or nutritional. Dubbing the fee a tax was a strategic ploy — successful nonetheless — to create political opposition.
However, our cherished Chesapeake Bay was not left unprotected. SB 863 requires 10 jurisdictions to set up plans to meet stormwater remediation goals, which if not met will lead to the jurisdiction being subjected to penalties. By repealing the stormwater remediation fee requirement our legislators have pushed Maryland one step closer to cleaning it's waters and becoming a strong leader in environmental protection.