State “Flush Tax” began January 2005…
In 2004, the Maryland Legislature took a major step towards protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, when it passed what has become known as “the flush tax”.
The bill established the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Restoration Fund to be supported by a $2.50 a month fee on sewer bills and an equivalent $30 annual fee on septic system owners. Utilities customers saw a new line item on their quarterly bills beginning January 1, 2005 for $7.50 per quarter ($2.50 per month). These funds are collected by the County and turned over to the State who distributes the funds to utilities to upgrade wastewater treatment plants to reduce nitrogen discharge which causes algae blooms that harm fish, crabs, native plants and other aquatic life. The revenues from septic tank users are used to upgrade or replace failing septic systems and to provide financial assistance to farmers to help plant cover crops to prevent nutrient runoff from agricultural land.
More information on the Bay Restoration fee is available on the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) web site at http://www.mde.state.md.us/Pages/Home.aspx.