Annapolis, MD – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan expressed confidence that a repeal of the Stormwater Management Fee, better known as “the Rain Tax,” is still possible during the 2015 session of the Maryland General Assembly.

Hogan’s remarks came after 14 Democrat members of the House of Delegates Environment and Transportation Committee voted down a measure designed to scuttle the controversial levy. Those voting against the repeal legislation are: Kumar Barve, Dana Stein, Pam Beidle, Alfred C. Carr Jr., David Fraser-Hidalgo, Barbara Frush, Jim Gilchrist, Anne Healey, Marvin Holmes, Tony Knotts, Stephan Lefferty, Clarence Lam, Cory McCray and Shane Robinson.

“No issue resonates as strongly and no tax is as universally detested as the Rain Tax,” said Hogan in a statement released following the committee’s vote. “Passing a law that forces only a handful of counties to raise taxes on their citizens—against their will—is wrong, unfair and it needs to end. Marylanders have spoken loudly and clearly on this issue.”

Currently, Charles County is the only Southern Maryland county subjected to the tax. Neighboring Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties are also required to levy the tax on impervious surfaces and roofs.

The measure was passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature as a way to address the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mandate for Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.

A bill submitted by Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. [D-District 27] would repeal the Rain Tax but require the local governments currently subjected to it to provide financial plans for addressing the EPA requirements.

In a joint statement issued over the weekend House of Delegates Minority Leader Nic Kipke and Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga cited Miller’s bill as being one option to kill the tax.

“It does not matter to us who gets the ‘credit’ for this bill, as long as Maryland’s citizens are freed from this unnecessary tax on rain,” Kipke and Szeliga stated.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com