Bernstein & Feldman, P.A.

Providing Personal Counsel
And Representation For Over
30 Years

Storm water fee bill delayed, not dead, in Anne Arundel Council

The 10 largest counties in Maryland are scrambling to establish storm water fees by the state-imposed deadline of July 1, 2013. Anne Arundel County property owners will have to wait a little longer than initially planned to find out what their obligations will be: The bill had been on the schedule for this week, but one of the sponsors has requested to hold the proposal until the March 18 meeting. He insists, however, that the county will not be able to avoid the fees.

The state asked the counties to chip in for anti-pollution programs targeted at cleaning up Chesapeake Bay. The state is responding to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's mandate that Maryland, along with five other states and the District of Columbia, go on a "pollution diet." Managing storm water runoff is just part of the effort.

The plan in the initial proposal would raise about $26.5 million in its first year, building toward a cumulative total of $900 by 2025. Townhomes and condominium owners would pay $34 every year, most single-family homeowners would pay $85, and homeowners of rural properties would pay $170. The commercial rates would be determined by how much of the property is covered by rooftops, driveways and parking lots.

It is the commercial fee plan that led the sponsor to pull the bill. Commercial property owners complained at a recent hearing that the rates would be on a par with their property tax bills -- forcing them to pay a disproportionate share. In the next week, the author plans to do some checking; if the allegations prove correct, he said, he will find a way to lighten commercial property owners' burden.

Still, he said, everyone in the county will contribute to the effort. Everyone in the county is responsible for the state of the waterways, and we all must take the responsibility for fixing it. "This is going to pass," he concluded.

Source: Capital Gazette, "Vote on stormwater bill delayed," Allison Bourg, March 5, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information