Skip to comments.The Rain Tax
Posted on 04/08/2013 11:42:49 AM PDT by Lucky9teen
Consider all the ways were taxed. When were born (birth certificate), when we die (death certificate), when we make money (income tax), when we spend money (sales tax), when we own property (property tax), when we sell property (capital gains tax), when we go to a concert or ball game (amusement tax), when we own a vehicle (license, registration, tolls, gas tax) and special taxes on cell phones, tobacco, alcohol, energy, etc. Then, when we die, they tax our income all over again (death tax). Heck, they even tax our bowel movements (flush tax).
But if you thought they ran out of ways to tax us you badly misjudged our lawmakers creativity. Get ready for their newest invention, the rain tax. Heres whats going on:
In 2010 the Obama administrations Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen levels fall 22 percent and phosphorus falls 15 percent from current amounts. The price tag: $14.8 billion.
(Excerpt) Read more at gazette.net ...
We’re from the government and we’re here to help you. Now give us your money.
I remember in California they wanted a “view tax”. An inspector would come to your home and see how much of an ocean view you had and you would pay based on that.
This style of tax is not new at all. Many already pay it.
Look at your city water bill. There may be a ‘storm sewer fee’. Many cities have collected this fee since the 1980’s, ostensibly to pay for maintenance of the storm sewer system.
In recent years, some of the funds have been mis-directed to ‘green’ projects. And, many ‘storm sewer’ departments have changed to ‘water pollution control’ departments, which use the funds to create man-made swamps, instead of build pipe.
So its sort of a boondoggle...but not at all new.
If you want to know what lies ahead, that is truly ‘new’ (and also destructive), are EPA regulations about stormwater QUALITY. What does this mean? Well, if somebody builds a bank in your town, you may notice a $20,000 ‘magic manhole’ being installed, to somehow ‘cleanse’ the stormwater.
And, a new development is filter maintenance on these new magic manholes. Cities are going to start to get into that business, and change the filters for you...for a fee.
That is the tip of the spear, when it comes to zany rain legislation (or actually edicts by the EPA). Not ‘rain taxes’. Those are old...and opposing them is fighting the last decade’s battles.
My town has been doing this for years. They want all rainwater to be contained in catchment ponds, rain gardens, etc. Not a terrible idea for new construction but impossible to do for many established neighborhoods.
Is the property with a view worth more than property without a view? Should they be taxed as if there were no difference in value?
In my area the price of a home could be double if it has lake views. I don’t want to subsidize the property owner who bought a much more expensive home.
If they purchase a more expensive homes don’t they already pay more in taxes?
Maryland: A state in which a leak-proof roof and paved driveway become your worst enemies.
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
Well, this is the first time I’ve heard of a rain tax being imposed on my property, that’s measured by the square footage of my solid roof and my paved driveway! I already pay one of those water and sewer infrastructure fees on my property tax bill. This new tax will be in addition to the existing fee, as I understand it.
I don’t think they have a gripe with all peasants, but just us middle-class kulaks.
It might be new to your area; but the concept is decades old. We recently had a mini-scandal in Topeka, when somebody figured out the calculation for large Industrial sites was too low....and a guy in the city engineering dept. had to re-calculate a bunch of roof areas etc.
Part of my job description is to design detention ponds to help developers comply with stormwater rules....and in some cities get a discount on their stormwater fee. I’ve been doing this for fifteen years, and fees calculated on impervious area have been around for at least that long.
Usually they just appraise based on homes of comparable size, condition, etc. in the area. "Intangibles" such as view are not an issue for the great majority of houses but for a few homes it is a huge issue.
The opposite effect can happen too of course. I live near an airport. On my street there is very little noise but just a few blocks away noise is a huge problem. A house over there that is the same size and style as mine is worth only ~60% of my home value. Those folks make sure the city appraises them accordingly.