Extreme Weather is Costing Tax Dollars, Lawmakers Must Act to Protect Maryland

Hidden Extreme-Weather Taxes will Increase if Maryland Does Not Pass Landmark RENEW Act.

ANNAPOLIS, MD — On Thursday, March 7, lawmakers and advocates will hold a press conference in the Senate Media Room of the Miller Senate Office Building calling on the General Assembly to protect Marylanders from hidden extreme-weather taxes by passing the landmark Responding to Emergency Needs from Extreme Weather (RENEW) Act.

Extreme weather events are costing Maryland taxpayers. The City of Annapolis is spending over $80 million to protect its downtown from rising tides and the financial burden that is being borne by the city’s tax base. Howard County is spending $228 million to protect Ellicott City from heavier rain events, a cost that is similarly being paid for by taxpayers. Whenever a Maryland road needs to be repaired after heavy rain, air-conditioning systems in schools need to be upgraded to handle more intense heat waves, or flood protections installed for low-lying properties, the government covers the cost. Those funds must either come from other programs or new taxes. As climate-driven hazards become more common and more intense, these hidden extreme-weather taxes will only increase. 

The RENEW Act would relieve Maryland taxpayers from hidden extreme-weather taxes by making large, out-of-state oil companies pay for necessary infrastructure upgrades to adapt to a warmer climate. The bill would bring in $900 million a year for 10 years that would be invested in making Maryland a cleaner, safer, more resilient, and more affordable state to live in. 

The RENEW Act is based on a groundbreaking “make polluters pay” policy that was first introduced by Senator Chris Van Hollen in the US Congress, and Senator Van Hollen has endorsed the RENEW Act in Maryland. Similar bills have also been introduced in New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. 

WHAT:  Rally and press conference on addressing the hidden extreme weather tax by passing the Responding to Emergency Needs from Extreme Weather (RENEW) Act 

WHO: Speakers at the press conference and rally will include: 

  • Maryland State Senator Katie Fry Hester (District 9)
  • Maryland State Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo (District 15)
  • Maryland State Delegate Adrian A. Boafo (District 23)

WHEN:  March 7, 2024, 12:30 PM

WHERE:  Senate Media Room in the Miller Senate Office Building at 11 Bladen Street in Annapolis, Maryland — across the street from the Maryland State House or…. 

WATCH LIVE HERE: https://www.facebook.com/CCANActionFund or RSVP to attend here!

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The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund is dedicated to driving change in public policies at the local, state and national level to address the climate crisis. Through voter education, lobbying, and participation in the electoral process, we seek to advance our country’s leadership in the global movement towards clean energy solutions — focusing our efforts primarily in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.