Recently, County Executive Allan Kittleman announced a proposal to phase out the Watershed Protection and Restoration Fee – better known as the “Rain Tax.” If approved by the County Council, Howard County will instead pay for storm-water remediation efforts using the general fund.
What that means is that under the proposal, instead of residents and businesses paying an additional tax, the county will pay for the necessary stormwater remediation through the financial tools it already has at its disposal. And the way the plan is structured, Kittleman will phase out the tax without placing any undue stress on the County’s finances.
Here are the 5 major takeaways for the proposed phase out of the rain tax ….
1) The proposed repeal would phase out the Rain Tax by 2018
An immediate suspension of Stormwater Remediation Fee will negatively affect the County’s ability to meet its current budget obligations. Therefore, the Kittleman proposal to phase out the Rain Tax over two years is the sensible approach and one that will avoid jeopardizing the County’s AAA credit rating.
It is true that Governor Hogan repealed the State’s requirement that Rain Tax fees be collected by local jurisdictions through the passing of SB 863; however, the State of Maryland still requires several jurisdictions, including Howard County, to meet their federal mandates in reducing the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediments flowing into its rivers.
2) Allan cares about the Chesapeake Bay
Allan Kittleman is a longtime advocate in preserving the Chesapeake Bay, because he is a believer in environmental preservation and because the Bay is as an economic growth engine in our region. However, advances in technology and efficiency have enabled county administrators to conduct stormwater remediation efforts without the need to implement a Rain Tax.
3) Howard County is already doing great things to protect the environment
The County is working to develop innovative practices that will help us tackle environmental issues that impact multiple areas in the county. For instance, the County is working with farmers in order to ensure their farms do not have excess nutrients running into our local streams. The County is also committed to working to treat impervious area in our urban environment, and has already treated close to 200 acres. This work will continue to expand over the near future.
4) The Rain Tax curbs growth and is an unnecessary burden on business.
Implementing burdensome taxes and fees that stifle economic growth is an unnecessary hindrance our businesses. If we keep the fee in place while surrounding jurisdictions eliminate it, it will only serve as a loss to our competitive edge in attracting new businesses to locate here, and keeping our existing businesses.
AND most important of all …
5) We need YOUR help to pass this bill!
The Kittleman Rain Tax Repeal Proposal is currently pending before the Howard County Council and will soon be called for a vote. So we need you to speak up for the rain tax repeal and for Allan’s plan so that small businesses and hard working families can get real tax relief.
So please stand with us! The first step is to sign up for our newsletter to learn more about Allan’s plan to phase out the rain tax. Then make your voice heard!
The post 5 Things You Need To Know About The Kittleman Rain Tax Repeal Bill appeared first on Allan Kittleman for Howard County Executive.