Governor Announces Doubling of Bay Restoration Fee

A January 17 Washington Examiner article discusses Governor Martin O’Malley’s budget and revenue proposals for the 2012 Session.  Among the proposals is a doubling of the Bay Restoration Fee.  In December, the Task Force on Sustainable Growth and Wastewater Disposal had recommended tripling the fee from $30 to $90 a year, with a portion of the fee going to county governments.  Doubling the fee will cover promised wastewater treatment plants upgrades from the original Bay Restoration Fee legislation and will likely not include a new local share.

O’Malley also will propose doubling the state’s $30 annual “flush” tax, which helps fund sewage treatment facilities, he told Democratic leaders at a meeting in Annapolis on Tuesday.

The Democrat governor is pushing lawmakers to find new sources of revenue this year, as the state faces its fourth straight year of billion-dollar budget shortfalls.

He did not mention raising the state’s 6 percent sales tax, an idea he floated last week, or reinstating Maryland’s two-year surtax on millionaires, which union members are rallying for to prevent further cuts. A proposal to raise the state’s 23.5-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax won’t be included in the governor’s operating budget, but it will be discussed as part of the state’s capital budget.

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