The rain in Maryland falls mainly on the taxpayer.
King Canute may have ordered the tide to halt and King Xerxes may have ordered his men to whip the waters of the Dardanelles strait for bringing up a storm, but Only King Hussein and Lord O’Malley would contemplate taxing the rain.
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.
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.
Taxing impervious surfaces is a brilliant environmentalist gimmick for penalizing structures. If you pave your driveway, then you’re obstructing the rain and you have to be penalized for it.
The EPA ordered Maryland to raise the money (an unfunded mandate), Maryland ordered its 10 largest counties to raise the money (another unfunded mandate) and, now, each of those counties is putting a local rain tax in place by 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.
Isn’t it great how we got rid of that creepy Bush Administration and its surveillance state that was wasting its time fighting terrorists instead of measuring roofs from space to determine how much money the rain-obstructing criminals have to pay?
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).
So homeowners are being fined for having roofs overhead with the money being used to create jobs for ecoscammers and funnel money to their groups.
Wouldn’t it be better if we just went to a straight up mafia state like Russia. Then we could dispense with the Rain Taxes and call a shakedown what it is.
Here’s how Montgomery County is spending some of its rain tax:
“(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?
We’ve all gone liberal.
Homeowners are going to pay the rain tax three times. Once, on their homes. A second time because commercial leases force tenants pay the landlord’s property taxes, which the tenants will, then, pass on to their customers. And a third time as church members or supporters of nonprofit hospitals, private schools and charities.
You see, state lawmakers exempted government-owned property from the rain tax but imposed it on religions and nonprofits (which own big roofs and parking lots).
Forget North Carolina. We already have a State Church and it’s fining non-state religions in rain tithes to finance its Green Religion.
Best of all Governor Martin “Rain Tax” O’Malley is contemplating a presidential run.
“I need to be spending a lot more energy and time giving serious consideration and preparation to what — if anything — I might have to offer should I decide to run for president in 2016,” O’Malley said during a wide-ranging interview with editors of The Baltimore Sun.
I’m sure there’s a lot that the Rain Taxer could offer. Like a national Rain Tax. And rain redistribution. The possibilities are endless. So is the tyranny.