New Jersey Democrats Are Poised to Tax … the Rain
Just when you thought they had run out of things to tax in one of the most heavily taxed states in the union, New Jersey Democrats passed and are now ready to sign a new “rain tax” into law.
“Every time you think there’s nothing left to tax, we come up with something else. It’s just never-ending down here.”
Gov. Phil Murphy will sign the “rain tax” bill passed by the New Jersey state legislature on Jan. 31, and Republicans and taxpayers alike are howling mad.
The bill is officially known as the Clean Stormwater and Flood Reduction Act, and it passed the state Assembly by a 45-31 margin before the Senate approved the final version of the bill 25-11.
Per the New York Post:
“Every time you think there’s nothing left to tax, we come up with something else,” Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-Morris-Sussex) exploded during a debate on the measure.
“It’s just never-ending down here.”
The law allows each of the state’s 565 municipalities to set up its own public stormwater utility. The new bureaucracies will build and manage sewer systems to treat pollutant-filled stormwater runoff.
The infrastructure could cost billions, state authorities say. Under the law, the utilities can levy steep fees on properties with large parking lots, long driveways, or big buildings — which create the most runoff.
The state would scoop up 5 percent of the proceeds.
The idea for the new fee goes back to 2010, when President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered states whose rivers and streams flow into the Chesapeake Bay to drastically cut sediment pollution.
Maryland was the first to fall into line, with a 2012 law that charged cleanup costs to property owners — and sparked taxpayer fury. Republican Larry Hogan’s promise to repeal the “rain tax” helped sweep him into the governor’s mansion in 2014.