The EPA’s newest and bestest idea ever: the “Rain Tax”

Somebody, please, wake me up when the lunacy is over…

From baltimore.cbslocal.com:

The nickname is rain tax, and the more hard surfaces you have–like a parking lot–the harder it’s going to bite.

When rain falls on rooftops or other hard structures like driveways and parking lots, it scours away chemicals from air pollution, eventually running off into the Chesapeake Bay.

drivewaydrain1

It’s a big source of those poor grades given to the bay’s health in annual report cards.

“The Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams are overloaded with too much nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment,” said Will Baker, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Which destroys water quality and feeds algae blooms that create dead zones. So Maryland’s legislature has created the impervious surface tax.

“The impervious surface tax would have an enormous impact. We have 200 sites throughout the state of Maryland. If you look at Our Daily Bread for example, the proposed fee would be $5,000,” said Bill McCarthy, Dir. Catholic Charities. And that’s for just this one property of Catholic charities.

Yes, you read that exactly right.

The impetus for all this was (yet again) our EPA, which published a study back in 2010 and set arbitrary-yet-mandatory levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sediment in the Chesapeake Bay. So, if you’re a Maryland business and/or resident in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford, Charles, Frederick, Baltimore counties or Baltimore city, you will now be taxed for…rain.

There is more than a little irony here, since Maryland is a DEEP Blue state, and absolutely voted for such “Value-sized” government as this. Well, congrats, guys… now you’re gonna get a bellyful of it. Bon appétit!!

—-

No EPA

We’ve covered the EPA’s overreach many times before, from claiming puddles are “navigable waterways”, to their continued jihad against plastic bags, as well as the Coal Industry, to suing desert states like Arizona for “Dust Violations”… this agency has long been totally out of control. But this may be one of their biggest and dumbest stunts yet.

And if you’re wondering exactly how this new revenue stream will be spent, here’s a quick rundown from the Gazette.net:

…It can be spent to build and maintain stream and wetland restoration projects. And, of course, a lot of it will go to “monitoring, inspection, enforcement, review of storm-water management plans and permit applications and mapping of impervious surfaces.”

In other words, hiring more bureaucrats to administer the rain tax program.

Well, there’s a shocker.

Oh, wait: that’s not even the best part! ‘Cause we have a current example of one county in Maryland that already HAS this tax. Wanna hear how Montgomery County is spending their new tax-payer supplied “Pennies (…& nickles, & dimes, & quarters…) from Heaven”

“(The county) holds workshops and training events to help residents understand how various projects work.

Projects such as rain gardens, conservation landscaping, rain barrels and cisterns, dry-wells and tree planting are then offered to be installed on properties that qualify, based on the County’s assessment.”

Really? You guys want to train me to use my own land? And for that honor, I’m to pay you a tax, and maybe …IF I qualify, …you’ll give me a couple dollars of my own cash back in the form of a rain barrel, or maybe a tree? Sure, that seems to make just oodles of sense.

Whenever I argue against the blindness and mind-crushing idiocy of Statism, THIS is what I mean.

Statism

If this catches on, what do we get taxed on next: How much sunlight our homes receive, maybe? Improper distribution of snow when we shovel? Failure to properly compost my grass clippings, perhaps?

I’m only half-kidding here, by the way…

Only one thing is certain: we WILL hear about this again. If the Left thinks it can get away with a Rain Tax elsewhere, this’ll spread across the country.

And then we’ll all get soaked.

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27 responses to “The EPA’s newest and bestest idea ever: the “Rain Tax”

  1. This just in: Cattle and dairy ranchers must now install “Poo Meters” on all livestock to measure the number of “pies” produced each day. A tax will be levied on each “pie” with funds going to methane reduction education.

    • Partner, NOTHING would surprise me anymore!

      Rain? Sure, why not? And next sun (paint your roof white, or we’ll tax you), wind (buy government-approved windproof shingles/shutters, or we’ll tax you), snow (is your shovel environmentally compliant?), etc,….

      Satire is dead: reality has BECOME satire.

  2. “If this catches on, what do we get taxed on next: How much sunlight our homes receive, maybe? Improper distribution of snow when we shovel? Failure to properly compost my grass clippings, perhaps?”

    Bro, bro, bro… STOP GIVING THEM IDEAS!!

    • Sorry, Sis. But if they were able to come up with the whole “Rain” thing on their own, I’m probably not opening up any new vistas to them with those suggestions.

      At least, …I hope not.
      😉

  3. Reblogged this on UNCOVER777.

  4. Think these EPA regs haven’t reached Pa?
    We sold our business. The man who was trying to buy it wanted to build another such business on the property. In order to do this the township required that he pay $30,000 for his sewer tap. It had to do with the rain water that runs into the sanitary drains. It made no sense to me. Now I’m beginning to see the nonsense. Of course $$ always takes care of the problem…

    • That would make you view the actual purpose behind “gov’t fees” in a slightly different light, wouldn’t it??

      Oh, the EPA has been spewing insanity for a long time now. If you haven’t had a chance to click on the links I included above, take just a minute and do it. It’s like an EPA “Greatest Hits” list of the past year…
      ….and it is JUST the past year!
      🙂

      “Environmental Protection”? Yeah, right.

  5. JTR….don’t know if I ever told you about this one, but our friend in Ohio has a company that uses solvents in part of their processing. The EPA guidelines were that they must burn off 90% of the solvent before it goes into the air. CDC said the substances were harmless under 50%, but the EPA wanted the 90% mark. THEN, the Ohio EPA agent came by and said they had arbitrarily raised the mark to 92% burn off, which cost him over $150,000 to achieve. It was that, or risk being shut down. So, he did what they requested, and the 4 new employment opps he wanted to expand into that year were not realized…..

    • Ahhh, but PGH: you’re looking at this all wrong!
      Why, just think of the growth that the EPA experienced:
      –They had to hire new people to administer and measure all of the new levels of solvent burn-off,
      –plus folks to come up with the new levels.
      –And we need to pay those folks somehow, right?

      So doesn’t it make sense that the EPA would tax him, so as to pay for the time and effort they spent coming up with these new rules?

      Golly, PGH, I just can’t see why you don’t get how darned LOGICAL this all is?? 😉
      —–

      (…see? Even after having moved away from New England almost a quarter of a century ago, I can STILL speak “Liberal-ese”…)

  6. Here’s the lunacy of this — from someone who works for Department of Transportation. The feds insist we pave highways to control PM 2.5 (dust) and provide strong incentives for cities to force businesses to pave their parkinglots, but then they turn around and want to fine people for runoff from parking lots. Yeah, wake us all up when the lunacy is over.

    • Too true, Aurora. It’s only amazing when government DOESN’T do things which are stupid and contradictory nowadays.

      In their hubris, they actually believe that they know what’s best, even with decades of empirical data to the contrary.

      What you point out is their typical M.O.: identify an issue which ISN’T a problem, and when their “fix” doesn’t work out (and it never does), they don’t rescind their mistake: they pass a NEW law, and compound the new problem even further.

      It would be hilarious, …if it weren’t so darn scary.

  7. We’re going to get soaked is right. After people get through the next big hurricane, just when they think rebuilding and cleanup costs are bad enough, wait till they see their tax bill. (wind and rain tax) That sun tax is looking very likely. After all, if you get those solar panels kicking out electric, they can claw back any profitability with taxes. We shouldn’t be giving them ideas, but apparently they’ve already got them.

    When King Solomon wrote that “there is nothing new under the sun”, regarding the elements and nature, he never saw their tax plans.

    • Bullright……perhaps Solomon was just referring to abject stupidity in all its forms….

      BTW: Are they going to have the same issue with snow melt?

      • So far, I’d say that one is a twofer deal. They can tax the snow when it falls and the runoff. And I’m pretty sure they can come up with an evaporation tax too. 🙂

        • True, BR.

          And I have another question:

          What about the tax revenue and water company revenue which WILL be lost, as folks start using less water? If people are collecting more rainwater, not hosing off their driveway, etc, won’t all these counties lose revenue? If you’re familiar with how Utilities behave, you know what they’ll do: RAISE water usage rates (to make up for the shortfall), … which will drive down usage further.

          Yeah, this is gonna work out just AWESOME!

  8. Beyond the lunacy of the “Rain Tax” in the first place, I am a little confused. The quote about Our Daily Bread states that they would have to pay $5,000, but as a charity, they should be exempt, right? Did I miss something?

    • The law didn’t exempt churches or charities: it only exempted government buildings.

      Naturally.

      😉

      • Isn’t that their standard “M.O.”? Their laws are just fine and dandy for us lemmings in the Country, but NOT for our exalted ruling class. They make me sick, which stinks, because now my illness is subject to Obamacare. And, as a 53 year old gun toting, Bible thumping, Conservative I’ve exceeded their life expectancy charts.

        • Pgh, you and I will be in the first wave of folks nominated for “re-education” classes. Count on it.

          Won’t have to worry about Obamacare, either, ’cause there’s only one way to graduate from that class, IYKWIM.

    • Hey…just realized this is your first comment here! Many thanks, my friend. …

      And be sure to say hi to “Mrs. Dragon” for us, as well.
      😉

  9. JTR, the statement that “Statism is the belief that you require permission to be free” is spot on.

    I heard somewhere that even though the EPA requires environmental impact studies be done before they’ll approve projects, THEY have no requirement to do economic impact studies of their policies or decisions. That is why so many of their policies have the theme “Even if it would save one life, it’s worth it.” (Of course…sometimes, they’re talking about saving one plant or animal life.) And it’s why one of the 3 questions that Thomas Sowell recommends be asked of every leftist policy is “At what cost?”

    Did you see/hear about the EPA’s intention of imposing new “Tier 3” regulations on gasoline “cleanliness”, despite the fact that air quality continues to steadily improve in the U.S. (even as our population and GDP grow) ?

    The EPA is the best single example of a government leviathon. That agency is like a cult. I wonder what impurities are in their drinking water…they should leave us alone and go study and regulate their own kool-aid.

    Cheers,
    – Jeff

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