Flush-tax increase a concern for Myersville mayor

MYERSVILLE — Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to increase the flush tax is not fair to small towns like Myersville, Mayor Wayne S. Creadick Jr. said.

O’Malley has proposed raising the flush tax, a fee paid by septic tank users that goes to upgrading the state’s wastewater treatment plants.

Speaking at a recent town meeting, Creadick said residents should be aware of the fee increase coming from Annapolis.

“How they are going to raise the flush tax doesn’t make sense to me,” Creadick said. “Once you read it, you’ll be as angry as I am.”

The O’Malley administration is trying to sell the flush tax as something that will go toward cleaning the Chesapeake Bay, but once the money is raised, it could be used for anything other than the Bay, Creadick said.

“I really feel passionate about this issue,” said Creadick, a Republican. He said his beliefs have nothing to do with partisan politics.

Each Myersville resident currently pays a flush tax of $7.50 a quarter or $30 annually. This money is supposed to address the top 66 sewage plant deficiencies. The governor’s proposal more than doubles the existing fee to $68, Town Manager Kristin Aleshire said.

Creadick worries the funds will go to other parts of the state.

To qualify for flush tax money, a jurisdiction must use 500,000 gallons of water and sewage a day or more. Myersville’s smaller water and sewer plants don’t meet that criteria, so in essence, citizens are being taxed for a revenue stream they have no access to, Aleshire said.

“You question the state about it and what you get is ‘You don’t really understand what we’re doing,’ and we’re saying, we do understand what you’re saying,” Creadick said.

Creadick urged residents to contact state officials to make their concerns known about the flush tax.

“My main concern is Myersville, but the flush tax affects the entire state,” the mayor said. “Everyone who flushes the toilet should be concerned.”

Other business: Creadick encouraged residents to sign up for the emergency notification system, which he said is user-friendly and allows for contacting people through multiple mediums.

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