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Political Notebook - July 8

July 07, 2013

Delaney backs ‘political targeting’ bill

U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., is backing bipartisan legislation that would prevent “political targeting” by the Internal Revenue Service, according to a news release from his office.

The measure was introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, and “calls for the termination of IRS employees that perform, delay or fail to perform any official action for a political purpose,” according to Delaney’s office.

“This legislation ensures that any IRS employees who act in a politically motivated way will be terminated. Sixth District residents have made it very clear that they are concerned about the possibility of political targeting. While the vast majority of IRS employees work responsibly, it is incumbent upon Congress to make sure that political targeting is not tolerated. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this common-sense bipartisan legislation,” Delaney said in a comment attributed to him in the news release.


A call to repeal the ‘rain tax’

Harford County Executive David Craig, who announced that he is running for the governor’s office in 2014, is calling on the Maryland General Assembly to repeal the “rain tax” during its next session.

Washington County is not affected by the tax, but 10 other jurisdictions in the state are.

The “rain tax” refers to a stormwater utility fee that went into effect July 1 and is part of a plan to generate revenue to tackle local water pollution and pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

The 10 jurisdictions that are part of the program are Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and Baltimore City.

The fee is expected to “address water pollution that occurs when rainfall carries sediment, nutrients from fertilizers and pet wastes, and toxic chemicals from rooftops, roads, urban and suburban lawns and institutional grounds into local storm drains, streams, rivers and drinking water reservoirs of the state, and ultimately to the Chesapeake Bay,” according to a description of the program provided by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Jurisdictions that are the most heavily developed and with the largest populations are part of the program.

“Stormwater-related costs necessary to comply with EPA mandates are projected to cost county taxpayers a staggering $6.3 billion through 2025,” Craig said recently, according to his campaign office. “If you wanted to open a business with a parking lot, would you want to come to Maryland and figure out this new tax?”


Brown to hold press conference today

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown is holding a press conference Monday in Largo, Md., with Jim Messina, who was the campaign manager for the 2012 Obama for America campaign.

Brown, who is running for governor in the 2014 elections, will discuss his effort “to become Maryland’s next governor,” according to his campaign office.

“The press conference will be part of a larger event which begins at 11 a.m. where volunteers and supporters are encouraged to come meet Mr. Messina,” according to the Brown campaign.

Messina was a deputy chief of staff at the White House.

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— Kaustuv Basu

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