Frederick County commissioners today voted to begin charging property owners an annual 1-cent fee, a bare minimum that will allow county compliance with state mandates to create what critics call a "rain tax."

In its first year, the new fee on an estimated 48,250 properties is projected to yield the county an estimated $482.50. Exempt from the fee are properties inside municipalities and land owned by the state, the county and volunteer fire companies.

The three county leaders who voted in favor of the fee said they did so under duress. State legislation passed in 2012 requires 10 Maryland jurisdictions, including Frederick County, to craft a stormwater mediation fee by July 1, 2013.

The law gave local leaders the freedom to determine the size of the fee and how it would be levied, but stipulated that proceeds should pay for watershed restoration and protection.

"I'm totally against this. … I only voted for it because they basically put a gun to my head," said Commissioner Kirby Delauter, who joined Commissioners President Blaine Young and Commissioner Paul Smith in approving the fee.

The measure passed today will take effect July 1.

(25) comments


Since Moe/Darth likes dancers so much, he'd like a "let it rain" tax.


Darth---This is an 'opinion' not an 'agree' column...If the BoCC used the zero tax before that is even more reason to make a statement to the State of Maryland and MOM...Me


i think what they did is great, they had no choice but to except the tax passed by the state so they put it at bare minimum. thank you! do this more often please


Darth---What's wrong with a ZERO tax/fee amount ???...The BoCC is afraid of showing some 'stones'...I guess they think they'll be taxed on those too...Me


Since this is a "fee" rather than a "tax', does that mean that some tax-exempt properties will be subject to the fee?


"Stormwater mediation fee"? Mediation means intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconcilation, settlement, or compromise. Who, pray tell, is arguing with rainwater? So someone has an argument with rainwater running off driveways. What about water running off fields into creeks or rivers, which may far more polluted than that running off driveways. Sounds like another Democrat money-grab to me.


Sometimes a word is used in more than one context.



Were the other two absent? Voted No? Abstained? How hard is it to report this?


Must not of been included in the County's news release. Blaine understands how these things work. He studied mass communication at Frostburg. I read it in his bio.


Okay, so the basic thing is that the county commissioners raised my taxes. They say it was "under duress." I don't care that it was by a token amount. The commissioners voted to raise my taxes, and now they're whining about having been forced to do it. How about we elect some commissioners with a spine?

darththevader much? They voted on the amount of the tax. The State voted on the tax itself


Hmmm....did they vote to decrease another tax to make up for it? Nope, didn't think so.


The tax is $.01 per year per property. How much is it going to cost to collect it is the real issue?


Do you argue about everything? Maybe the state law doesn't allow it. The BoCC has set a zero rate before so your thought isn't very original


This isn't a news release. It's an article with a byline. Maybe you should have read that instead


That doesn't mean it didn't come from a news release written by the County. It never says we received a news release. The paper just publishes what the news release says. I was an information office for an organization and wrote news releases.


The BoCC disagreed with the rain tax so much that they voted for it...Now the BoCC knows how the citizens of Frederick feel...Me


Congratulations Frederick County Commissioners, you hold the bar for the dumbest tax ever. I can't wait to move out of this county..


Forced by the demmies in annapolis.


Here's my penny. Right click on the image and choose Save picture as...


Thank you Board of County Commissioners. This is one taxpayer that appreciates your efforts.


Kirby says there's a gun to his head
and Blaine wants to avoid the bloodshed
so they're doing their least
proud they're starving the beast
and the governor must think they're inbred.


Who gives a crap what the governor thinks!


the legislature must think they're inbred.


I think every member of the legislature are inbred and O'Maulie, too.

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