Howard County Council Rejects Stormwater Fee Repeal

A Baltimore Sun article (2016-03-07) reported that the Howard County Council has rejected a proposal from Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and Council Member Greg Fox to reduce the County’s stormwater remediation fee by half in FY 2017 and eliminate it in FY 2018. The article stated that the County annually collects $10 million from the fee.  From the article:

In a 4-1 vote on Monday, the Howard County Council struck down a measure to eliminate the county’s controversial stormwater remediation fee, dubbed the “rain tax” by opponents. …

The fee phase-out was blocked amid questions on how stormwater remediation projects would be financed without a dedicated revenue source. Council members expressed reservations about the administration’s financial plan, which pulled funds from grants, a reserve balance and general obligation bonds, among other sources. …

Without “a clear picture” of cuts required by phasing-out the fee, Councilwoman Jen Terrasa said eliminating the fee was not a “prudent” approach. A recent report by the Spending Affordability Advisory Committee cautioned the county to avoid eliminating the fee absent a secure financial plan. …

“The big losers tonight are residents and businesses,” Kittleman said, citing what he called overwhelming support for the phase-out based on his interactions with residents. “We’ll find out what the next council will do in 2018.”

The article also explained that Council Member Jon Weinstein introduced two modifications to the current fee in an effort to address concerns raised by both groups.

Useful Links

Howard County Stormwater Fee Repeal Bill (CB52-2015)

Prior Conduit Street Coverage

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