Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a 1-5-06 letter to the editor of the Cecil Whig, Senator Nancy Jacobs ( R-Cecil, Hartford ) vows to introduce a bill to remove the septic tank fees from the law. She says it unfairly taxes septic users who do not contribute to failing waste water treatment plants. Jacobs also states that septic users pay large amounts of money to have their tanks pumped and are serious about their responsibility to maintain their tanks and promote a healthy Ches Bay.

She also states that Senator Paula Hollinger's amendment added septic users to the original bill.

I know this has been discussed on TF before. I participated and questioned the septic portion. I'm more than willing to spend $40/year to eliminate 30 % of the nitrogen from the Bay, even if I get no help on my septic system. But I have to question the septic fee. It is supposed to be used for cover crop and help ( up to 100 % for the latest nitrogen removal systems ) for failing septic systems. It does not seem like a fair tax for septic users. They will contribute to the wastewater treatment plant upgrades by higher fees for sludge removal. Why should they pay more ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Article from Cecil Whig, 1-31-06


News
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bills seek ‘flush tax’ relief for septic tank owners


Tuesday, January 31, 2006 9:22 AM EST
By Cheryl Mattix [email protected]




ANNAPOLIS - Flush tax relief for septic tank owners may be on its way if either of two bills scheduled to be heard in February make it to the governor’s desk for his signature.

In response to an outcry from septic tank owners in Cecil County and other parts of the state, lawmakers have introduced two bills this year that are slightly different but designed to offer septic tank owners an out.

Delegate David Rudolph (D-Cecil) has two Democrats and one Republican co-sponsoring his bill, which allows any county to opt out of collecting the fee from users of an onsite sewage disposal system (septic).

The counties that choose to opt out are not eligible for any of the funds dispersed from the collection, according to Rudolph’s bill.

By law, 40 percent of the septic fees are to be used for cover crops and 60 percent for bay restoration.

Rudolph said Cecil County Treasurer Pam Howard reports collecting about $19,000 from the septic owners in the first round of bills that went out in November.

“I’m wondering if the juice is worth the squeeze,” he said, referring to the expense and time to administer septic bills compared with the revenue generated.

Thirteen Republican senators, including Sen. Nancy Jacobs (R-Cecil/Harford) and Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R-Upper Shore) are sponsoring the other bill. It would repeal the septic tank inclusion statewide.

The Senate bill will be heard at 1 p.m. Feb. 7 by the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Paula Hollinger (D-Montgomery), who led the Senate effort to include septic tank owners in the bill. Rudolph’s bill is scheduled for a 1 p.m. hearing Feb. 8 in the House Environmental Matters Committee, chaired by Delegate Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore.)

Gov. Robert Ehrlich signed the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act into law in 2004 in a ceremony at the City Dock in Annapolis. It was one of his key initiatives that year.

But his original bill did not include septic tanks. Instead, it was aimed at public sewer users who would be required to pay a $30 fee each year with revenue designated to upgrade public sewer systems and maintain a healthier bay. Senate Democrats added septic tanks when the bill got to their chamber.

The bill passed despite vocal floor fights in both chambers where the inclusion of septic tanks was opposed by rural lawmakers crossing party lines.



Any thoughts ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
The original proposal was for the septic tank pumpers to pay an increased fee, which would be passed on to the septic tank owner that is getting his tank pumped. I don't have a problem with that, it's perfectly logical. I have a real problem with being taxed just because I have a septic tank. The State or the CBF sure as h*ll didn't contribute to the cost of installing my system, and since it's just my wife and myself, it doesn't get abused.
By the way, the pumpers have to dump at approved locations which go into the treatment plants - they just can't dump anyplace they want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
I guess that's my thinking, it's basically a flush tax, not a sewer or a septic tax.
Are septics are watershed neutral? Even if they are, when they pump them out and it goes into the treatment plant a some point, that's when you should pay.

If you takes a dump, you pays your fee[grin]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I hear ya Mikie. I think the main problem is how to easily track who is pumping their septic and how to fairly charge them. The septic part of the law just does not make any sense.

SeaG, [q] like hazardaous waste fee when you have the oil changed in your car.[/q]
Do you know where those supposed fees are going ? Next time you get your oil changed ask what Government org gets these fees. Fact is used motor oil is classified as hazardous waste. Fact is shops get paid for it. Double dipping at it's best. No one questions it because they feel they are helping the Bay. Ha ha !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
[Q]scotty80 originally wrote:
Do you know where those supposed fees are going ?
[/Q]

Nope. I pay Federal income tax and I don't know where it's going (mostly). I just think manufacturers and consumers should bear the costs of the products they make, consume and discard, including the environmental costs. The cleanup money is going to come from taxes one way or another. The flush tax makes cleanup $ a dedicated fund rather than be subjected to the general budget process every year. If you live in the watershed, I think you should bear some responsibility to keep the bay healthy.

Of course I think they ought to slap a big mookin' tax on lawn fertilizer, chicken farms and waterfront property too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
Actually double-dipping at its best is getting paid a salary by the US taxpayer, and having you & your wife's exotic vacations around the world paid for by corporations under the pretext of "doing the people's business".

The guys twisting wrenches are welcome to what little extra they get from me so long as the stuff gets recycled and not poured down a storm drain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
Scotty. they don't have to track WHO is getting their tank pumped. The pumping business would have to pay a higher fee (the flush tax) when he dumps his load - regardless of whose tank he pumped it out of - he in turn, would charge a higher fee to the homeowner whose tank he pumped. This way, the "flush tax" would actually end up being paid by the guys with the tanks that needed pumping - not everyone who has a tank, just because they have one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,264 Posts
[Q]Sea Gristle originally wrote:
But what do the pump companies do with the sludge? If they put it down as fertilizer doesn't that run off into the Bay?
[/Q]

SG in the Balto metro area, and surrounding jurisdictions, septage is hauled to a WWTP, usually large, major, which treats >1mgd. The sludge then settles out in the primaries and becomes part of the plant's sludge process which can be lime stabilized then placed on fields. The sludge is generally disked into the earth. Septage haulers pay a fee to dump to the Co or City. They change often where they dump based on who's got the cheapest tipping fees. Hope that helps........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The bill also provides for up to 100% of the cost of upgrading existing failing septic systems to the best available technology for nitrogen removal.
From, http://www.mde.state.md.us/Water/CBWRF/index.asp

Many WWTP's are run by independent contractors. The money collected by this tax will not go into the general fund. It will go into a dedicated fund.

The problem is, having contractors and/or local Gov document, collect, pay these fees. Who monitors it ? The potential for fraud is enormous. I would guess it would cost twice as much to regulate the law as it would produce.

I agree, it's a great concept. Just unrealistic.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top