An August 3 Cumberland Times-News editorial joins Senator George Edwards in opposing a proposed increase to the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fee, commonly known as the “Flush Tax.” The fee is assessed annually to both those on public water and sewer and septic systems. Proceeds from the fee are placed into the Bay Restoration Fund, which is used to upgrade wastewater treatment plants discharging effluent into the Bay or its waterways.
The flush tax has perhaps been most harshly criticized in Garrett County, where residents feel they do not contribute to pollution of the bay and so they should not have to pay for the restoration. Half of the county’s drainage feeds the Gulf of Mexico rather than the Chesapeake Bay.
Now, the state’s Capital Debt Affordability Committee is considering an option to increase the annual tax from $30 per household to $54. The increase would make up for a $660 million shortfall in the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund to clean up Maryland’s wastewater treatment plants. …
We like [Senator] Edwards’ alternative to increasing the flush tax. Extend the deadline to improve the water treatment plants, thus taking pressure off the state to have to pay for all of the work immediately.