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