Doubling flush tax almost certain, Bay Restoration Fund still vulnerable to future raids

Most Marylanders will see their flush tax bill double from $30 to $60 beginning July 1, but the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund will remain vulnerable to raids that have climbed to $290 million since 2010.

The Senate approved the fee increase in 28-18 vote late Saturday, with an amendment that exempts residents far western Maryland and the Ocean City area that are not part of the Chesapeake Bay drainage area.

Flush tax increase makes up for raids of Bay Restoration Fund, some say

As the lid closes on the 2012 legislative session, lawmakers will likely double the flush tax from $30 to $60 to cover a projected $385 million shortfall in the Bay Restoration Fund, but some lawmakers say the tax hike aims to cover repeated raids on the fund that triggered a downgrade by Moody’s Investor Service 14 months ago.

O’Malley proposes tax hikes for 450,000 ‘high income’ households, doubling flush tax

About 450,000 Maryland households that earn more than $100,000 per year will see their state and local income taxes go up next year if the legislature approves Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget proposal. In order to balance an overall $35.8 billion state budget – a 3% increase over last year – O’Malley is asking to cap tax deductions and phase out exemptions for high earners. O’Malley said the average family of four making $150,000 a year would pay $191 more in state and local income taxes.

Flush tax to double, but delegates question use for other purposes

Doubling the flush tax to $60 a year is one of the revenue increases Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed Wednesday in his fiscal 2013 budget. Revenue from the tax goes into the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund to upgrade sewage treatment plants. Money from septic system users is also used to upgrade some of those systems and pay for cover crops. The new money is needed because the upgrades have cost more than originally estimated.