Maryland Rain Tax Goes After Residents With Driveways

    April 11, 2013
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

A rain tax sounds kind of preposterous, but the state of Maryland will be implementing such a thing very soon.

The Gazette, a local Maryland newspaper, reports that new regulations put into place by the EPA require Maryland to reduce the amount of stormwater that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The reduction in run off would reportedly drop nitrogen levels by 22 percent and phosphorous levels by 15 percent. It’s a noble endeavor that comes with a $14.8 billion pricetag.

So, where is Maryland going to get the money needed to comply with EPA regulations? The state will be implementing a tax on property that contains “impervious surfaces.” In other words, any surface where rain water can run off instead of being absorbed into the ground will be taxed.

As you can probably already tell, such a tax has caused quite the commotion in Maryland. For starters, it’s a ridiculous tax that’s almost impossible to track. With other taxes, like those on alcohol and cigarettes, the government can count how much is being produced and sold, and apply taxes accordingly. With this rain tax, the government will use satellite imagery to calculate the amount of “impervious surfaces” on a resident’s property, and add to their property tax based upon the amount of rain that fell.

The rain tax will only affect 10 of the largest counties in the state, and the government hopes to raise $482 million a year from the tax to pay the $14.8 billion required by the EPA.

  • Larry

    WOW, wait until California finds out, another BS tax to stick us with. What the hell is wrong with the government? The EPA is run by a bunch of fools and idiots. EPA should be called the ETA, Environmental Tax Agency, they are not from planet earth!

  • snorelax

    What’s next a tax for the carbon dioxide that we exhale as we breathe everyday. I see alot of people moving out of Maryland. Wake up People, more ways for the government to control everything. Just wondering if the people of Maryland built ponds in there yards and caught the rain would the state then tax them for hoarding the rain water. Let’s tax the congress and state legislatures for being stupid. I think we could pay off the national debt in about 3 years if we did that. Just sayin.

  • Sean

    Our governor is a friggin idiot… He increased Gas tax 0.28 a gallon (VA lowered theirs). He passed a gun control bill that made Beretta Leave the state, goodbye 400 jobs, $37 million in tax revenue. He will cost another 2000 jobs with the same bill as FFL dealers will leave…He has raised taxes every year he has been in office.

  • http://datechguyblog.com datechguy

    Maryland voted in these people and has done it to themselves.

    I don’t feel sorry for them at all.

    • SoMDGuy

      Prince George’s, Montgomery, and Baltimore Counties, along with Baltimore City voted these assclowns in to the state house. Wanna guess the demographic?

  • http://webpronews Lonny

    Well I cant wait to see if these assclowns get reelected. LMAO. Wtf

    • bob

      Do you think that the Obama-nut-democrats will not elect their favorite sons no matter what they may do. When I was young and just getting ready to vote fore the first time, my father (a die-hard union democrat)to me, “it’s easy. . . .you go I into the booth and just pull all of the levers on the Democrat side of the list” It did not matter to him if there was a donkey running for the Dems.

  • josh

    Welcome to the Obama administration. You will comply. Your assets belong to the government, we will sieze them at will with rediculous policies and spend the money to advertise and indoctrinate your children and voters that our idiotic socialistic progressivism is good.

  • Dave

    Looks there will be a run on green paint soon.

  • Jeff Shonk

    Okay. Institute a tax to solve the runoff problem. Why don’t we then fence that income so that it can be used only for that purpose and cannot be borrowed against. I bet Governor O’Dummy won’t go for that, will he?
    Just like he won’t fence the gasoline tax increase for use solely to build and maintain roads and bridges– but that’s the reason he says we need the tax increase. Is there anyone who believes that this money won’t be used for other things? Really?

    • Kim

      This is for Obama care .I did not vote for these a holes in at all we need to all take a stand and get them out of offices.And the people need to stop wanting hand outs.

  • Vic

    Glad I left the Peoples Republic of Maryland a few years ago. You folks keep voting these a-holes into office. You deserve what you get.

    • Deborah

      AMEN!! I left that nujob State a few years ago as well.

  • wayne

    Mecklenburg co NC has been doing this for over 25 years, it’s added to your water bill. It’s called runoff fees, and includes your driveway, concrete or asphalt, AND the roof of your residence. If you don’t pay it they cut your water off.

  • http://yahoo john

    And those damn Easterners say people out west are nuts?Only some one from back east would think of a stupid idea like that.Damn,at least i can carry my GUNS when i want too.AT LEAST WE HAVE A DESERT HERE FOR THE WATER.

  • bill

    In the county of Mecklenburg, North Carolina there is a storm water tax, and its basically the same thing. They calculate it using the amount of land you have, and we have no Bay around Charlotte, NC.

    • Dave

      Just to let you know we already have a bay tax (commonly called the flush tax) this rain tax is on top of this tax.

      BTW being a middle class my flush tax under the democratic control with O’Madly was increased 100% last year, what happened to were not raising taxes on the middle class. Bunch of liars.

  • Trent

    First off what is the largest contributor of nitrogen and phosphorus? ANSWER. DRY FERTILIZER DUH!!!!! Maybe look at the farmers and ranchers that use Dry fertilizer and see where their irrigation ditch flow. I used to be a Commercial applicator i have been to school on this very topic. Solution, granted it is not perfect but it would make a difference is using liquid fertilizer that will automatically absorb in to the soil and not get washed in to the ditches like dry fertilizer pellets

  • Charlie

    Welcome folks to the new (for You) tax. In Metro Louisville, we have been paying that tax for (sorry I don’t remember when it was first imposed) approximately 9 years. And the juicy part for the “tax man” is that it has continually risen through the years. My impervious “runoff” space is approximately 3500 sq ft and cost about $168.00 annually. Our govt. folks want to protect the river. From what? I don’t remember.

  • paul

    how will a tax decrease the amount of run off? It doesn’t. People with parking lot don’t use fertilizers to keep them green and growing healthy, so why tax parking lots. Stupid politicians and the people who voted them in.

  • ejhickey

    paint your roof and driveway green. satellites can’t tell the difference

  • T

    It’s certainly stupid enough for some politician to do. I suppose a defense would be “Act Of God”, bill him.

  • bob

    The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act of 1972 was voted by Congress to restore the Chesapeake Bay. Hundreds of millions of US taxpayers dollars have been spent without making a dent in the pollution of the Bay.
    O’Malley, a die-hard classic Democrat (Who appears to think that he is heading for the White House Oval Office soon)wants to stay right up there by spending our $$$$$ at will, and is another tax-happy liberal leftwing robot for Obama

  • http://webpronews.com Steve

    I am stunned by this. First, the EPA demands to be paid a fee due to rainfall and runoff into the Chesapeake Bay? What right does the EPA have to create and collect tax? Isn’t the EPA one of the pushers of man made global warming? So now they want to tax you if it rains? Unbelievable! The next tax will be if it is too hot! There is literally nothing that the government won’t tax!

    • Ned

      I believe they have the right to enforce the Clean Water Act. Since impervious surfaces are linked to water quality in the Chesapeake Bay(highlighted in the 1987 amendments to the CWA), this falls under their realm.

  • Old Marylander now Calgirl

    The “assclowns” ALREADY were re-elected. So much for Thomas Jefferson’s belief that an “informed public” was the best chance for a democratic republic to survive. Now, get ready to turn your guns in (or ammunition…whichever comes first—a la the British are coming to seize ammunition at Lexington..THIS is what started the Revolution; Anyone remember history?) Or, maybe report your guns to the United Nations so THEY can regulate YOU in your own home in your own country. I’m feeling REAL safe now that, say……Egypt……can have a say on my 2nd amendment rights in my own country. And, let’s see….then there’s Obamacare…..everyone vote now on what you think my chances are of receiving a new hip, say….at age 70 or 75…..compared to a child of an illegal immigrant—or anyone younger than 30 for that matter….. getting a heart transplant? Hmmmm….let’s see….I think they will throw me a wheelchair and a prescription for morphine and call it “done,” even though I’m the one who has paid into this country’s taxes, health care companies, social security, state taxes, income taxes, and every other bogus thing you can name…since I was 16….and I’ve never used a penny back, yet. I don’t think I ever will. Obama and his minions and progressives will see to it. I’ve financed the generation in front of me, the generatioin coming behind me (thanks to Obama’s policies) but will not benefit when MY generation is in need. Now, for the rainwater tax…I wish I had a few lifetimes to live to see the history written about the signs of decline of our great “experiment in government.” Were it possible, I’d expect to see this on the list of “symptoms of delcine and collapse.”

    • Rich

      An “informed public” would know what kind of damage runoff does to the ecosystem downstream.
      That said, heavy handed legislation isn’t the answer. Informing the public should have been the first step but its pretty difficult when legislators are uninformed themselves and often represent radical interests instead of the folks that elected them.

  • John

    Shoulda known this was coming. Any government that thinks it needs to regulate the size of a toilet tank (1.6 gals for about 30 years now), ain’t going to stop there.

    We need a Federal sunset law that makes each & every department justify its existence. I’m betting dollars to donuts that the EPA can’t justify the 100s of blns they’ve squandered not to mention the 100s of blns in rediculous regulations & fines they have imposed. Closest thing the US has to the SS.

  • mike

    Jesus Christ. Look at all the doomsday theorists below me somehow likening a ill-conceived tax to more of Obamas policies. Its almost as of they have an ideological agenda to.push that has absolutely no bearing on whether sometbing is federal or state based. Its like they were mad at things unrelated to current discussions and just wanted an outlet to voice their non-mainstream viewpoints to anyone who bothered to read this far. Be honest, you only read this far because you were bored.

  • mike

    And another thing. Anyone who blames O malleh is an idiot. Anyone remember Ehrlich? The man who cut the ENTIRE funding to the Chesapeake Bay Foundatjon from.state.spending? The sole group in charge of.maintaining the health, livelihood, and quality of the bay? Oh right he was a Republican so he can do no wrong. Well you can postemptively blame him for us playing catch up now. Reactionists; all of you.

    • Deborah

      Obummer is, and EVERYONE knows this, is grinning his arse off at YET another new tax. More $$ he and his mooching family can use to jet off to another vacation!
      Maryland also has really stupid ELECTED State Officials, including your Senators!

      I am SO GLAD I moved out of that stupid, jackass State. Nothing but a bunch of Lib lovers!!

      Have FUN paying taxes when it RAINS SUCKAS! HAHAHAHA

      • Glenn

        Deborah , great response you moved out of the state ! We can’t yet but when we retire we are also gone !
        Yes, idiots put O’Malley in office !
        Rain tax, gas tax, scooter tax, 300% toll hike, DNR tax on fishing licenses, capital gains tax, soda tax, cigar tax , alcohol tax corporate tax increases – This is great – He proposed the last great American tax write off – Mortgage interest tax ! Snack tax, parking tax increases, sales tax –
        Yet – O jack ass spends his time on gay marriage, death penalty , and free cell phones for the unemployed-
        He will most likely get elected just like Obumer Tax and spend ! Don’t cut just spend spend spend ! Yes Obmurer you have increased the middle class taxes ! ( I will not raise taxes ) yes ,you have not cut the deficit at all – Yet , you lied 2008,2011 and 2013 ! I will reduce the deficit in half !
        What jerks !

  • CHenry

    I suspect that new driveways in Maryland will now be separated from street pavement by grating built over aggregate French drains and thereafter will be referred to as “terrace” or “patio” or better yet “handicapped walkway.”

  • Chris

    Outside of the subject matter. I just wanted to mention to Zach that I appreciate a well written news article now more than ever. I get very frustrated with clicking on a “news” link and finding articles not researched and poorly conveyed. Thank you Zach.

  • Ned

    This does create incentive to build pervious pathways and driveways on one’s property, which until now hasn’t really existed. Hopefully there will be a way around the sattelite imagery though, as I doubt reflectance values for such surfaces are discernable from impervious ones.
    It doesn’t matter who was elected, these regulations have been in progress since 2008 (executive order 13508 somewhat in response to the Chesapeake Bay Foundations suing the EPA) and they will continue to come up and be implemented (with environmental deadlines of 2017 and 2025). See the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL if you want to place blame….

  • Wade

    “…the government will use satellite imagery to calculate the amount of “impervious surfaces” on a resident’s property, and add to their property tax based upon the amount of rain that fell…”

    Solution: Spray paint your driveway green. Problem solved.

  • Jim Staudt

    Just another example of Barack Obama’s EPA. But then, you voted for him, Maryland, so you should be happy about this.

  • Joe

    Wouldn’t impervious surfaces not collect nitrogen and phosphates? Is the problem runoff from fertilizers? If so, people with large lawns/farms should be the ones being taxed, right?

  • Susan

    Yards that are fertilized should be the issue, not driveways. What about a roof? Everyone has a roof. Does that include malls, schools, office buildings, or churches? What a joke!

  • steve

    this is government gone wild

  • harry

    What if I can manage to keep all my rain water on my property??

  • harry

    Everyone should look up our Native American Health care system. You will find a health care system that is managed by the government, paid for by the government, and has government employees. It is so ill run and managed that the Native Americans hate it. It has not been working for the last 50 years and will not work for the next 50.

  • Jeff

    I would buy camouflage netting and hide my house and driveway. This is STUPID!!!! You hire a democrat to run your state and you will pay more in taxes.

    • Danni

      Heaven help you if you happen to “PEE” to add to the rainwater!!!!

    • Celeste Wentz

      This is the most stupid law I have ever heard. I live in Maryland I try to keep my house and surroundings with lots of curb appeal, now I will be penalized for having a deck around my pool , a patio , and my driveway paved. What the hell!!!! Oh lets not forget the roof on my house, are you kidding me. Totallty disgusted. Will do what I need to try to appeal this crap.

  • Harry Wiliams

    I think if I lived in Maryland I would look into a petition or movement to Impeach every loco politician who is in favor of such a ridiculous tax!

  • Molly

    Moved out of MD about a year ago, apparently just in time! State doesn’t have much going for it in the first place; taxes already high, heating oil very expensive to heat your home, lots of bugs, high cost of living all around. This is just one more thing. Glad I’m not still there.

  • gary

    Whatever happened to “We the people, By the people and For the people” Now it’s ‘ By the goverment, for the goverment, and Just their benefit!

  • Josh

    At Harry- I thought the same thing. Also built my home 4 years ago and was required to install dry wells to catch all roof run-off and put back in the ground. I should be exempt now right?



  • Lori

    When will people learn not to vote for those idiots! They are dragging the rest of the country down with their liberal policies.

  • steveh

    This only taxes 10 counties, baltimore city. What about the rest of the counties..?? Does it not rain in those counties?? I would think that alone would allow a court appeal based the tax not applying to ALL counties and thus being unfair and unlawful .

  • Mark Antolik

    The people of Maryland keep on voting for these idiots, and even though I’m a Maryland resident (at least for now…seriously considering a move to Pennsylvania) I must say that elections have consequences and the people get what they deserve. When you keep electing a State Assembly with a nearly 3/1 Democrat majority and a looney, far-left-wing governor that never met a tax scheme he didn’t like, this is what results. There are no longer any checks and balances on these people to keep this sort of stuff from becoming law. Pathetic!

  • David

    This governor is a genius. I mean give him credit for being able to get away with taxing rain. I bet when he gets together with all the other governors, they are high fiving him for coming up with a tax on rain!
    Hopefully, this will get so much negative publicity that people will associate him with the “rain tax” nationwide and it will scuttle his race to the White House!

  • http://marylandrainwaterlaw rick

    I was born & raised in Maryland & now can’t wait to sell my house & get the HELL! out of here. The democrats or donkeys (asses) must wake up every day thinking about how to screw the people. They NEVER! want to help us, just make things more miserable. The person who came up with this totally absurd law should be put in jail & be executed for treason & high crimes on humanity. If not death, then put them in the insane house so they can be with all the other dem loons. You idiots can NOT! ever measure this properly & it is the MOST! stupid law I have ever heard of. I had a hard decision to make to decide if it was more crazy than the US Gov. paying for a study on why USA lesbians are obese. One can’t even make up these stories. Maybe the Maryland loons in office should go to Hollywood to help those radical leftists to make even worse movies. The US Of A is now officially broken beyond repair & the people of this stupid country are the reason as they continue to vote in lunatics like Hussein & all these other left wing crazies. I’m a Vietnam War combat vet & our lovely country has always HATED! us & still does to this day, so I would think they would probably charge us more for being vets of that horrid war. You people are completely crazy & deserve whatever KARMA will come & get you. It WILL! happen to heartless idiots like ALL! you political idiots. If I could, I’d put you all on an old Vietnam style C-130 plane with old WW2 style parachutes & drop you all on some remote uninhabited island to make up all the STUPID! laws you care to. Thank you all for holding up your stupidity quotient, you all must be OH! soo! proud.

  • Al

    Rain Tax ??? Stupid is as stupid does ! You elect idiots, you get stupid stuff

  • Harry Lyne

    If MD is worried about the runoff consider all the manure the Amish and Mennonites in PA use on their fields which runs off into small streams into larger streams and finally into the Bay via the Susquehanna River. Will Penna tax all its farmers who are sends huge amounts of fecal matter into the Bay? If they don’t our tiny attempt will accomplish next to nothing.

  • Nick

    The state of Maryland better be taxing itself billions for all the roads in the state.