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Best Gift to the Maryland GOP

“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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