And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll tax the rain?

The answer is Maryland:

Chesapeake Bay faces a serious pollution problem. The Environmental Protection Agency decreed in 2010 that Maryland had to stop so much stormwater runoff from draining into the Bay, a project that would cost $14.8 billion. To pay for that, authorities decided to tax “impervious surfaces” — in the words of The Gazette, “anything that prevents rainwater from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing stormwater runoff.”

This solution is being called — with the combined goodwill these two concepts evoke — a rain tax.

Faced with the EPA’s orders, the state has required its 10 largest counties — Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford, Charles, Frederick, Baltimore counties and Baltimore city — to raise the revenue. Rain taxes are to take effect in these areas by July 1.

And just how are they going to calculate this tax?

“Satellite imagery and geographic information systems” will be used to measure the area of roofs and driveways.

Governmental structures, of course, are exempt.

(Via Fark: “Residents wonder what precipitated the decision.”)


  1. Brian J. »

    7 April 2013 · 2:33 pm

    If I am not mistaken, St. Louis’s Metropolitan Sewer District charges a fee based on this, too.

    Which I was going to have to appeal had I remained in the area, as I had removed a part of the blacktop driveway to nowhere beside the house to make room for a garden, and I would certainly wanted to have that knocked off from my bill.

    I wonder if the authorities in these situations take off part of your assessment if you collect water in rain barrels. Did I say “wonder”? I meant to say “doubt.”

  2. CGHill »

    7 April 2013 · 3:08 pm

    We pay an EPA-mandated “drainage fee,” but it’s a flat rate, around four bucks a month.

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