Potomac’s septic tank owners may soon have to pay a tax when their tanks are pumped.
House Bill 555 passed the Environmental Matters Committee last week. The bill calls for a $2.50 per month ($30 per year) surcharge on residents who use public sewer service and a 8 cents per gallon charge on septic systems when they are pumped.
“It’s all having to do with upgrading and modernizing our outdated, outmoded sewage treatment plants around Maryland,” said Del. Bill Bronrott (D-16), who sits on the committee. Bronrott voted for the bill.
The tax is estimated to generate from $62-65 million per year starting in FY 05. The money will be used to upgrade equipment which will help to remove nitrogen from the water which will make its way to the Chesapeake Bay. “This would be a huge step toward cleaning up the Bay,” Bronrott said.
Septic tanks typically range from 1,250-1,500 gallons, said John Seek of John Seek Septic Tank Pumping. This translates to a $100-120 tax each time a tank is pumped, which Seek recommends having done every 2-3 years.
Initially, the tax had only been charged to sewer users, but since septic sewage ends up in the same treatment plants, it was determined that septic owners should pay a portion as well. “It’s all going into a sewer line,” Seek said. “That’s where I’m taking it.”