Anne Arundel Senators Support Two-Year Delay for Stormwater Fees

A December 5 Capital Gazette article reports that two Anne Arundel County Senators, Ed DeGrange and Ed Reilly, would support removing a 2012 legislative requirement that 10 counties must adopt a stormwater utility fee, often referred to as a “rain tax” by the legislation’s opponents.  However, the Senators noted that a full repeal was unlikely but predicted that legislation calling for a two-year delay or suspension of the fees would be considered.  From the article:

“[The two-year delay proposal] will be back,” DeGrange said. “And I think we’re — at the very least — proposing that delay and that the locals come up with some reasonable plan.”  …

While the state may vote to delay the mandate, Reilly said he didn’t think efforts to repeal the mandate entirely would be successful.

“I still don’t have a sense that it’s going to be killed,” Reilly said. “It’s an unfriendly tax, an unpopular tax, but I think it’s going to move forward.”

The article also notes that Senator Bryan Simonaire and Delegate Steve Schuh support removing Anne Arundel County from the list of counties required to have a fee and Delegate Ron George, who is running for Governor, has promised to repeal the fee requirement if elected. As previously reported on Conduit Street, environmental groups have urged the Anne Arundel County delegation to maintain the current stormwater fee requirements.  In the Capital Gazette article, Anne Arundel County Councilman Chris Trumbauer argues against the delay proposal:

Trumbauer, who in October joined The Hatcher Group as director of state and environmental initiatives, said the state mandate helped build a bipartisan group supporting the fees in Anne Arundel County.

“If you back off from (the mandate), I think it sends the wrong signal,” Trumbauer said. “We have to be consistent.”