RAIN TAX – Revenue to TAX homeowners for Storm Drain Repairs “Intentional” Deferred Maintenance for Decades. . .





Rain tax

A stormwater fee, also known as a rain tax, is a charge imposed on real estate owners for pollution in stormwater drainage from impervious surface runoff.



This system introduced in Germany in the 1990s that imposes a tax that is proportional to impervious areas, such as concrete or asphalt, that does not absorb rain to the surface.

Rain tax is implemented in Germany and the United States in a way that imposes less fee for stormwater flowing into the sewer if it has more pervious area.


Equivalence issues were raised concerning the imposition of sewage fees based on the usage of water supply. In 1985, in order to ensure the legal equity of charging based on the polluter pays principle, the German Federal Administrative Court and the local high court ruled that the sewage system charges should be separately collected as usage fees for rainwater exclusion and as usage fees for sewage exclusion. This ruling became a decisive motive to bring about a switch in the sewage system for rainwater in Germany. The German states took legal action to impose a stormwater tax on developers like the builders who made artificial surface in the 1990s. Many resistances were raised, but Berlin, which had been the strongest opponent, has accepted the plan since 2000. About 73 percent of cities with a population of 100,000 or more apply a separate calculation method, which divides the cost of sewage into the rainwater cost. Usually, Germany calculates concreteasphalt, and building roofs as impervious areas and charges an annual fee of 2.6$ per . Builders are installing rainfall storage tank and permeation facilities to receive reduction in fees. In addition, outdoor plant cultivation facilities and green business are also proposed as alternatives to the reduction of the rain tax.

Germany has seen two effects in this regard : increasing rainwater recycling rates and reducing sewage fee and tap water usage. Rain water recycling plays a great role in preventing the city from flooding in the event of heavy rain and saving energy.


Such taxes have been collected in regions of Italy, acquiring international attention, and challenging Italian tax morale. Authorities in Ravenna, Italy, have imposed 3% increase on local water bills to maintain and improvedrainage systems. Officials cite the severe damage inflicted by the heavy rain on infrastructure, buildings and agriculture in the Po valley, insisting that this money urgently needs to be recouped. The local water board, which wants to backdate the new tax three years, claims that the payments will save it €1 million a year. Gianluca Dradi, head of environmental policy for the Ravenna city council, likened the levy to a street cleaning tax and clarified that those paying more for their water use, such as factories, will pay proportionately more than individual households. “Including the cost in water bills is more equitable,” he told the Repubblica newspaper.

However, consumer organisations are opposing the move, and residents have been urged to resist the authorities and refuse to pay the tax.

United States


A stormwater management fee was established via House Bill 987 (April 2012) and signed into law by then-governor Martin O’Malley, affecting the largest urban jurisdictions in Maryland (nine counties and the City of Baltimore) in order to meet the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act as it concerns the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Tax Foundation states House Bill 987 “was passed in response to a decree by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally known as the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, which identified mandatory reductions in nitrogenphosphorus, and sediment that damage the Chesapeake Bay.” This mandate from the EPA was mandated to the states of MarylandNew YorkPennsylvaniaWest Virginia, and the District of ColumbiaMaryland is the only state that has levied a tax to meet the EPA’s standards. Polluted runoff is the only source in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that is still increasing, as of 2018. This tax, of course, does not tax rain but has been implemented in varying ways at the county level, such as a flat fee per property owner, or based on impervious surface square footage.