The Blaze posted an article today that shows what happens when the federal government passes unfunded mandates that the states have to pay for–the states then pass unfunded mandates that the taxpayers have to pay for.
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.
And who levies this new rain tax? Witness how taxation, like rain, trickles down through the various pervious levels of government until it reaches the impervious level — me and you.
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.
There is nothing in the law that says the tax is less if the rainfall is less, but that would be an interesting wrinkle in the whole thing. The tax is slated to be in place by July 1.
It is interesting to note that although government-owned buildings are exempt from the rain tax, religious organizations and non-profit organizations are not exempt. I suspect there will a lawsuit about that somewhere along the line.