Restoring the Ecosystem through Flush Tax

The Chesapeake Restoration Fee, commonly known as the flush tax, imposes a fee of $60 to the people of Maryland, USA, for flushing their toilet. The money collected from the tax is used for the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program.

In 1983, multiple government members, now known as the Chesapeake Executive Council, signed the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. It was established with the intention to reduce pollution and restore the ecosystem of the bay.

The tax was first implemented in 2004 when the Maryland State Government enacted the Bay Restoration Fund in Senate Bill-320. The purpose of the bill is to collect funds that will be used as grants and loans to upgrade the nutrient removal technology at certain wastewater treatment plants.SLIDE

The citizens using private septic systems had been taxed $30 annually since 2005. In 2012, this fee was increased to $60 per year with a flat rate of $5 monthly.

The effects are beginning to show thirteen years after the tax was first implemented in 2004. The water clarity of the bay has started improving, the grass coverage has grown larger, and oxygen is available in every area for the first time in a decade.


Bay Program History | Chesapeake Bay Program. (n.d.).

Babcock, J. (2012, May 9). “Flush tax” in Maryland to double in July. Washington Post.

Bay Restoration Fund Fee. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2022, from

Carroll County Government | Collections/Taxes - Bay Restoration Fee Carroll County, Maryland. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2022, from

13 Years Later, Effects Of Maryland’s “Flush Tax” Being Seen. (2017, July 12).