BERLIN, Md.- In an effort to clean up the bay, Maryland is creating a new storm water system. Just like rain, the cost of it trickles down to local businesses and home owners, hitting some people in Berlin hard.
A storm of frustration is brewing over the town of Berlin's new rain tax. Atlantic General Hospital is seeking exemption in a legal battle with the town, and it boils down to rain.
"We already spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to manage it [storm water]," said AGH President and CEO Micah el Franklin.
In one year alone, the hospital had to pay more than $5,000 for the new tax. And AGH may have to pay that lump sum each year. So the hospital is taking the town of Berlin to court.
"To take thousands of dollars out this organization every year, that's thousands of dollars we can't invest into the community," said Franklin.
The hospital sits on about 24 acres. Which is a problem, because the more impervious surfaces there are, the more taxes Atlantic General will pay. Meaning, the hospital will be charged for any surface of land that does not soak up rainwater.
Berlin town officials have said from the beginning no properties will be exempt from the storm water utility fee. In this case, Atlantic General hopes that when it rains-- it doesn't pour.