"Rain Tax"

Just when it seemed like the Maryland Republican Party had no reason to even bother putting up a fight, the state came along and approved a "stormwater fee," tacked onto Maryland homeowners' property-tax bills to help the state pay for pollution-control strategies implemented by the federal government to protect the Chesapeake Bay. Republican yahoos like Delegate Pat McDonough (R-7th District) quickly dubbed it a "rain tax" and put up a fight against the governor and Democrat-controlled legislature that stirred up its OweMalley-hating base. (Never mind that it serves a similar purpose as the "Bay Restoration Fund," promoted by GOP Governor Bob Ehrlich, which already appears on tax bills-and is about twice as much as the "rain tax.") Officials in GOP-leaning Carroll and Anne Arundel counties may succeed in exempting their citizens, leaving the counties with unfunded federal and state mandates, which will almost certainly hurt residents more than the $20-$30 "rain tax," but, hey, they're stickin' it to OweBama! One of the supporters of a Western Maryland secessionist movement even cited the tax as a reason to break off five counties into a new state. Just what we need, another red state that overuses the federal resources it claims to hate.

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