Tag Archives: Stormwater Fees

Negative Framing of “Rain Tax” Sways Public Opinion

A new statewide poll in Maryland, released March 13 by The Clean Water, Healthy Families Coalition, finds that inaccurate perceptions and continued misinformation have greatly enhanced opposition to that state’s stormwater fee. Opponents of the fee have labeled it a “rain tax,” and poll results show that this negative framing has swayed public attitudes. For […]

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Bills To Eliminate Stormwater Fee Voted Down by Maryland Lawmakers

On March 6, Maryland’s House Environment and Transportation Committee sunk several bills aimed at lifting state stormwater fees. Under a 2012 mandate, the state’s 10 most populous jurisdictions, which include Phase I municipal separate storm sewer system communities, are required to charge a fee to pay for their stormwater management programs. Under this law, jurisdictions […]

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NACWA Releases Analysis of Legal Challenges to Stormwater Fees

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) recently released a white paper titled Navigating Litigation Floodwaters:  Legal Considerations for Funding Municipal Stormwater Programs, which provides analysis on the types of legal issues affecting stormwater funding programs. In the absence of a federal rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has turned its focus to strengthening […]

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Voters Deny Stormwater Fee, Could Mean Lawsuit for Colorado Springs

In November, Colorado Springs, Colo., voters rejected a 20-year plan to create a regional stormwater authority and its associated fees. This has raised questions about how the city will pay for promised flood control projects and stormwater permit requirements. In late November, the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District Board voted to issue a letter […]

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Stormwater Fees May Have Affected Maryland Governor Race

Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) has said he wants to repeal a state law requiring stormwater fees in Baltimore and 10 of the state’s other most populous counties. The law, passed by outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), is intended to help fund programs managing stormwater, improving local watersheds, and restoring the Chesapeake Bay. Hogan, however, […]

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Ohio Supreme Court To Hear Stormwater Fee Case

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear a stormwater fee case raised by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) on September 9. NEORSD implemented a fee in January 2013 to pay for its separate stormwater management program, a program that helps to reduce flooding of homes and streets, erosion of roads and stream banks, and […]

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EPA Orders 85 Pennsylvania Communities to Improve Stormwater Programs

On June 24, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it sent orders to 85 Pennsylvania municipalities requiring improvements to their stormwater programs. EPA issued the orders to augment Pennsylvania’s efforts to ensure effective stormwater management programs are in place to improve water quality in local streams and the Chesapeake Bay. The federal Clean […]

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Courts Strike Down Stormwater Fees

In mid-November, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) stormwater fee is actually a tax, which violates the state’s constitution because it was established without voter approval. The court opinion states, “A tax by any other name remains a tax. It cannot be transformed into a user fee by […]

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Village Cannot Apply Stormwater Fees on Tribal Lands, Court Rules

In a case decided on Oct. 18, a U.S. Appeals Court ruled that the Village of Hobart, Wisconsin, could not apply stormwater fees to tribal lands. Hobart established the fee in 2007 across all parcels to pay for the construction and operation of a stormwater management system. However, Oneida tribal lands encompassed 6.6% of the […]

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WEF Offers Three Ways To Learn About User-Fee-Funded Stormwater Programs

On Sept. 11, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) hosted a webcast on user-fee-funded stormwater utilities. The webcast is based on a new WEF publication also released in September — User-Fee-Funded Stormwater Programs. The webcast and the book cover best practices and creative approaches for developing stormwater fee programs and rate structures. The authors discuss changing […]

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