Maryland Finds Awesome New Way To Tax Citizens: Rain
That’s right, citizens in 10 Maryland counties will soon be charged a tax when it rains. Why, yes, this did all originate with Obama EPA (via The Blaze)
(The Gazette) …Get ready for their newest invention, the rain tax. Here’s what’s going on:
In 2010 the Obama administration’s 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.
And where do we get the $14.8 billion? By taxing so-called “impervious surfaces,” anything that prevents rain water from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing stormwater run off. In other words, a rain tax.
The unfunded mandate boiled to to the county level, where 10 will start charging the tax on July 1.
Well, you ask, “How on earth can the government know how much impervious surface I own?” Answer: It’s not on earth, it’s in the sky. Thanks to satellite imagery and geographic information systems, Big Brother can measure your roof and driveway (and you thought drones were only used for killing terrorists).
OK, once the counties raise this money, how is it spent? The state law is kind of squishy. 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 stormwater management plans and permit applications and mapping of impervious surfaces.” In other words, hiring more bureaucrats to administer the rain tax program.
It can also be spent on “public education and outreach” (whatever that means) and on “grants to nonprofit organizations” (i.e. to the greenies who pushed the tax through the various levels of government).
Interestingly, Montgomery County is already charging a “rain tax”. How’s that working out?
“(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, drywells and tree planting are then offered to be installed on properties that qualify, based on the County’s assessment.”
So, I’m supposed to pay a rain tax so the county can train me how to plant a tree, which they’ll give me if, in its view, I qualify? Have we all gone mad?
Yes, they have. Welcome to Liberal World. Where they excepted government property from the tax. This might make a tiny bit of sense if the money was going to be actually used to reduce the runoff in a significant way. Alas, as typical it’s going to be pissed away.