MARYLAND

Senate gives initial OK to doubling Md. flush tax

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has given preliminary approval to doubling the state's "flush tax."

The Senate on Saturday rejected two amendments offered by Sen. E.J. Pipkin, R-Cecil.

One of the amendments would have put a firewall around the money raised from the tax to prevent the revenue from being used for purposes other than upgrading wastewater treatment plants.

The other amendment would have eliminated the tax in 2030, 18 years from now, when the work is expected to be complete.

The flush tax, which is currently a $30 annual fee on sewer bills, would rise to $60 a year under the measure.

It already has passed the House. Gov. Martin O'Malley has proposed the increase to help fight pollution.

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