Maryland Rain Tax Goes After Residents With Driveways

    April 11, 2013

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.