As a result of state findings that the Chesapeake Bay has experienced a decline in water quality due to over enrichment of nutrients, Governor Ehrlich signed into law Senate Bill 320 (Bay Restoration Fund) on May 26, 2004.
The legislation requires that users of on-site sewage disposal systems or holding tanks pay a fee of $30.00 per year. The fee for users will appear as a line item labeled BRF on tax bills mailed July 1, 2005. Payment of the BRF fee will be used by the State to upgrade on-site systems and implement cover crops to reduce nitrogen loading to the Bay; and will be pursued as unpaid after October 1, 2005.
On May 31, 2005, the Board of Commissioners for St. Mary's County adopted ORDINANCE NO. 2005-06, which provides an exemption for land owners for whom this fee would impose a substantial financial hardship. If you believe you have been billed in error or wish to apply for a substantial financial hardship, contact Laura Sutton at 301-475-4BAY (4229).
Senate Bill 320 also requires owners of wastewater treatment plants to collect a $2.50 monthly fee from their users. St. Mary's County users of public sewers began being billed by the Metropolitan Commission (MetComm) on January 1, 2005.