The PJ Tatler

Marylanders, Get Ready to Pay the 'Rain Tax'

Barack Obama’s EPA is going to tax the rain in the hilariously ironically nick-named “Free State.”

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.

Maryland voted overwhelmingly to re-elect Obama. So in this case, the rain may not be falling on the just and unjust alike.

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.

So, if you live in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford, Charles, Frederick, Baltimore counties or Baltimore city, you’ll be paying a rain tax on your next property tax bill.

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).

And what Big Brother can do, Big Brother will do.

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).

Much more at the link. Including this:

[S]tate lawmakers exempted government-owned property from the rain tax but imposed it on religions and nonprofits (which own big roofs and parking lots).