BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A storm of protest is brewing over the state’s new rain tax.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports the bills are coming in and Maryland businesses are shocked at what they’re seeing.

Like lots of Marylanders, the Baltimore Boating Center is praying for rain.

“I thought it was a joke. How can you tax the rain? But when I got the $4,700 rain tax bill, it wasn’t funny anymore,” said Nancy Correlli, Baltimore Boating Center.

She’s not alone. Ron Gates, a local business and commercial property owner, says he’s taking a bath.

“First one went up 80 percent, the second one went up 60 percent,  and the last one went up 42 perent,” he said. “I know myself, I was blindsided. When I opened the tax bills, I couldn’t believe the numbers. It totally floored me.”

The Stormwater Management Fee is a new tax assessed to pay for storm water runoff systems to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

All due respect to the bay, Baltimore County Delegate Pat McDonough is organizing a campaign to repeal the tax.

“There’s an economic impact and consequence with every tax we pass, because that’s money going to the government and not going to the private sector, which affects consumer spending, which affects economic growth and jobs,” he said.

Baltimore County businesses say it’s hitting them hard.

“We are careful of how we spend our money, and if the government were careful of how they spend their money, we wouldn’t be hit with a $4,700 tax bill,” Correlli said.

Expect the campaign to repeal the rain tax to come to a head in this coming election year.

There are 10 jurisdictions that must collect the tax, and the tax rates vary.

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