ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A House committee has voted against Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal to repeal stormwater management fees.

The House Environment and Transportation Committee voted 14-7 against the bill Friday.

Hogan, a Republican, campaigned against the fees, which critics have derided as the “rain tax.” Hogan says residents spoke overwhelmingly against the fees.

In a statement, the governor says he’s confident the Legislature will still repeal them:

“No issue resonates as strongly and no tax is as universally detested as the rain tax. Passing a law that forces only a handful of counties to raise taxes on their citizens – against their will – is wrong, unfair, and it needs to end.

“Marylanders have spoken loudly and clearly on this issue. The overwhelming majority of voters across the state are strongly opposed to it, and some counties have already taken steps to repeal this burdensome tax. Considering the surge of opposition to the current law, I am confident that the General Assembly will still move forward with a repeal of the Rain Tax.”

Del. Kumar Barve, a Montgomery County Democrat who chairs the panel, says the vote on Hogan’s bill doesn’t prejudice the committee against a related bill coming from the Senate.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Calvert County Democrat, is sponsoring a bill that would end the state mandate for fees, so long as 9 counties and Baltimore city can show they are paying for federally mandated stormwater cleanup.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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