Bay Restoration Fee May Quadruple For Some Residential Users

Governor Martin O’Malley unveiled his legislation last week to increase the Bay Restoration Fee (BRF).  Rejecting a recommendation from the Task Force on Sustainable Growth and Wastewater Disposal to triple the fee, the Governor instead opted to double the annual fee from $30 to $60 for septic system users and charge sewer users based on their actual water consumption.  However, a January 27 article raises concerns that the water consumption guides in the bill may actually almost quadruple the fee for a typical family of four. 

The American Water Works Association reports that an average person uses 70 gallons of water each day. Using this formula, a household of four would use 8,400 gallons of water per month.  The governor’s proposal would increase this household’s tax from the current $30 to $117. …

Residents of Maryland’s suburban counties would be paying the higher fees all around.  [Howard County Deputy Chief of Utilities Jeff] Welty said average residential use in Howard County is 5,200 gallons. Harford County residents average 5,400 gallons, according to the county’s website. Officials in Elkton in Cecil County report nearly 60% of residential homes use more than 9,000 gallons per month. Under O’Malley’s proposal, this group of Elkton homes would pay $127 annually.

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