Chris R.
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The 'Rain Tax'

http://www.gazette.net/article/20130405/NEWS/130409397/-1/th...

Birth taxes, death taxes, paycheck taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, gasoline and vehicle taxes, tobacco and alcohol taxes, special-use taxes, flush taxes...

"If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street, If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat, If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat, If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet." (George Harrison didn't mention rain.)

What's next? An oxygen tax? Or does rain count as a part-oxygen tax?

I thought unfunded mandates were supposed to be killed off 20 years ago.

And how did the EPA get this much authority?

...

Satellite imagery is to be used to determine the size of impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways, patios, and sidewalks.

You pay the rain tax on your home, your business, and any nonprofit. Government properties are exempted but not religious institutions and nonprofit enterprises which have large roofs and parking lots.

A shopping center with a large parking lot will have a higher rain tax than property tax. I think prices just went up in this location.

Try moving to an underground Hobbit hole without a cobblestone sidewalk, I guess.
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Boaty McBoatface
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If they are casing bad drainage why should they not have top pay to fix the mess bad drainage causes?
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oh dear...a tax?


welcome to the last....well since one minute after money was invented-years


 
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There are issues over how much tax to collect and what to spend it on. But if you are looking at what to tax, this seems quite a clever idea, provided it can be done economically (and accurately, but I know people who could do it accurately, assuming they also had a property ownership database, which I think is now mostly available in the UK). It taxes people on behaviour you'd like to change, it appears not to be regressive (though data to confirm that would be good). It may not pass obviousness tests like an income or sales tax appear to - except that the manipulations of income tax in particular mean that fails there too.
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How about BBG collecting a duplicate thread tax? They'd clean up this week.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/960697/the-rain-tax
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Shawn Fox
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If you don't want to pay taxes, you are welcome to go buy your own island somewhere and found your own country. You can call it Utopia. You can then build roads, maintain a police department, etc all on your own dime and not charge any of your citizens taxes. You can take all the other useless no tax paying tea partiers with you and you can all enjoy the fruits of a government where you don't have to pay taxes. You could also just move to one of the several nice countries that already exist where you don't have to pay taxes. I'd suggest Somalia, I'm sure you would be welcomed there with open arms.

In all seriousness though, if you don't want to pay this 'rain tax' then just move somewhere else. That is the nature of things like taxes, they are trivial to avoid. If you don't want to pay the US income tax, then don't make any income or move to some other country. In some cases it makes sense to move to avoid stupid taxes/governments, in other cases taxes provide a meaningful benefit and/or raise the cost of destructive activities and are worth paying. The choice is yours, vote with your feet. Whining about taxes on BGG isn't going to change anything.
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Junior McSpiffy
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sfox wrote:
In all seriousness though, if you don't want to pay this 'rain tax' then just move somewhere else. That is the nature of things like taxes, they are trivial to avoid.


Yeah, picking up your family and possessions, relocating, and finding new employment is such a lark.
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GameCrossing wrote:
sfox wrote:
In all seriousness though, if you don't want to pay this 'rain tax' then just move somewhere else. That is the nature of things like taxes, they are trivial to avoid.


Yeah, picking up your family and possessions, relocating, and finding new employment is such a lark.


I'm not even sure what this guy Fox's point was. Some taxes are sensible, others are destructive. This one is destructive because it taxes something that residents are 100% not in control of to begin with. It will deter economic growth and do more harm than good for the region.

That's another side of the "nature of taxes". Bad ones ruin economies and end up reducing the quality of life, the quality of the regional environment and force people to move elsewhere, which further erodes the local economy.

 
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Omg something is being taxed somewhere in the US. Contact Alex Jones, and carpet this news on all the conserva-blogs ASAP!
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DWTripp wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
sfox wrote:
In all seriousness though, if you don't want to pay this 'rain tax' then just move somewhere else. That is the nature of things like taxes, they are trivial to avoid.


Yeah, picking up your family and possessions, relocating, and finding new employment is such a lark.


I'm not even sure what this guy Fox's point was. Some taxes are sensible, others are destructive. This one is destructive because it taxes something that residents are 100% not in control of to begin with. It will deter economic growth and do more harm than good for the region.

That's another side of the "nature of taxes". Bad ones ruin economies and end up reducing the quality of life, the quality of the regional environment and force people to move elsewhere, which further erodes the local economy.

What no home owner can stop people tarmacking their front gardens?
 
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Isaac Citrom
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All these people are already well taxed. It's their taxes that are supposed to be paying for stuff just like this. However, their taxes have been redirected to other initiatives.

We have a very similar thing going on right now in Montreal. A lot of the everyday social endeavours, e.g. community centres, are paid at the municipal level.

For two decades it was raining money. Local committees actually didn't know how to spend all the money. In the meanwhile the road, sewer, and especially water distribution network were ignored.

Now, we're paying the piper. Burst pipes and floods are a frequent occurence. The city is now talking about tens of billions of dollars to do something about it all.

Unsurprisingly, there is all kinds of discussion of new taxes. People are asking, haven't we and aren't we already paying taxes precisely for sewers, water distribution and the roads?!


Another example are fees for any government service. In Montreal, there is even a fee attached to parking and driving infractions (e.g. $150 + $14). If these fees pay for these services on a user basis, where are all the taxes going?


And, if the basis of taxes is going to be personal responsibility, is that really the direction that you want the conversation to go.
.
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Isaac Citrom
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tscook wrote:
I hope I use my eventual geography degree to do shit like this to piss off motherfuckers like you~


A degree in geography...is that like a degree in 18th century French literature? You should probably move South, where you can keep a car for 20 years if you take care of it.
.
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Boaty McBoatface
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isaacc wrote:

All these people are already well taxed. It's their taxes that are supposed to be paying for stuff just like this. However, their taxes have been redirected to other initiatives.

We have a very similar thing going on right now in Montreal. A lot of the everyday social endeavours, e.g. community centres, are paid at the municipal level.

For two decades it was raining money. Local committees actually didn't know how to spend all the money. In the meanwhile the road, sewer, and especially water distribution network were ignored.

Now, we're paying the piper. Burst pipes and floods are a frequent occurence. The city is now talking about tens of billions of dollars to do something about it all.

Unsurprisingly, there is all kinds of discussion of new taxes. People are asking, haven't we and aren't we already paying taxes precisely for sewers, water distribution and the roads?!


Another example are fees for any government service. In Montreal, there is even a fee attached to parking and driving infractions (e.g. $150 + $14). If these fees pay for these services on a user basis, where are all the taxes going?


And, if the basis of taxes is going to be personal responsibility, is that really the direction that you want the conversation to go.
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That is just not true, there is far more concreting over of drainage areas, and this is extra expenditure to deal with.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
That is just not true, there is far more concreting over of drainage areas, and this is extra expenditure to deal with.


Honestly? You really ought to consider staying out of discussions when it's abundantly clear that you don't have a fucking clue what the discussion is about. At least do some light reading on the motivation for the tax and what observers outside the region have to say about what is happening.

This isn't "like" property tax or sales tax, the ones that actually pay for services. If you (and a few others) could just quit obsessively computing everything as A=A then you are on the road to some small degree of enlightenment.
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DWTripp wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
That is just not true, there is far more concreting over of drainage areas, and this is extra expenditure to deal with.


Honestly? You really ought to consider staying out of discussions when it's abundantly clear that you don't have a fucking clue what the discussion is about. At least do some light reading on the motivation for the tax and what observers outside the region have to say about what is happening.

This isn't "like" property tax or sales tax, the ones that actually pay for services. If you (and a few others) could just quit obsessively computing everything as A=A then you are on the road to some small degree of enlightenment.
This is paying for a service, to clean up the polluted Chesapeake bay. And yes we are building over larger and larger areas of drainage, where the fuck do you think they build houses, in the air?
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slatersteven wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
That is just not true, there is far more concreting over of drainage areas, and this is extra expenditure to deal with.


Honestly? You really ought to consider staying out of discussions when it's abundantly clear that you don't have a fucking clue what the discussion is about. At least do some light reading on the motivation for the tax and what observers outside the region have to say about what is happening.

This isn't "like" property tax or sales tax, the ones that actually pay for services. If you (and a few others) could just quit obsessively computing everything as A=A then you are on the road to some small degree of enlightenment.
This is paying for a service, to clean up the polluted Chesapeake bay. And yes we are building over larger and larger areas of drainage, where the fuck do you think they build houses, in the air?


Jesus! Read the article! In fact, send Ted an email and get him to help you with understanding the Chesapeake Bay and how it gets polluted. Here's a hint - by more than the rain run-off of select counties in Maryland.

And this is a tax "because the bay has some pollution", Which is worlds apart from "to clean up the bay". The tax is an unfunded mandate shuffled down from Jesus H Obama's EPA and handed off by each level of management. The tax is the best kind for bloated governments, it's on a stationary target. So select residents and businesses will be paying Maryland to run workshops and 'raise awareness" (green jobs?) while the rest of the huge land areas that drain into the Chesapeake Bay laugh at the EPA and shunt their shit into the bay.

Business as usual.
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DWTripp wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
That is just not true, there is far more concreting over of drainage areas, and this is extra expenditure to deal with.


Honestly? You really ought to consider staying out of discussions when it's abundantly clear that you don't have a fucking clue what the discussion is about. At least do some light reading on the motivation for the tax and what observers outside the region have to say about what is happening.

This isn't "like" property tax or sales tax, the ones that actually pay for services. If you (and a few others) could just quit obsessively computing everything as A=A then you are on the road to some small degree of enlightenment.
This is paying for a service, to clean up the polluted Chesapeake bay. And yes we are building over larger and larger areas of drainage, where the fuck do you think they build houses, in the air?


Jesus! Read the article! In fact, send Ted an email and get him to help you with understanding the Chesapeake Bay and how it gets polluted. Here's a hint - by more than the rain run-off of select counties in Maryland.

And this is a tax "because the bay has some pollution", Which is worlds apart from "to clean up the bay". The tax is an unfunded mandate shuffled down from Jesus H Obama's EPA and handed off by each level of management. The tax is the best kind for bloated governments, it's on a stationary target. So select residents and businesses will be paying Maryland to run workshops and 'raise awareness" (green jobs?) while the rest of the huge land areas that drain into the Chesapeake Bay laugh at the EPA and shunt their shit into the bay.

Business as usual.
Land Use and Pollution

Over 17 million people live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and have made their imprint upon its lands and waters. About 58 percent of the watershed is forest, while the rest has been converted by people to agricultural (22 percent), suburban and urban uses (9 percent). These land use changes have impacts on the Bay.

One of the Bay's biggest problems is too many nutrients in the water. Excess nutrients come from many sources, including treated wastewater, runoff from agricultural areas, runoff from suburban areas such as lawn and garden fertilizers and septic systems, and even air pollution.

Too many nutrients: Although it may not sound like a bad thing, too many nutrients can cause a lot of problems in the Bay. Phosphorus and nitrogen are limiting factors for plants. With the addition of run-off nutrients, algae plants have nothing to keep them in check--they grow into giant blooms. Algae blooms blocks sunlight that underwater bay grasses need to survive. Many Bay species depend on grasses for food and protection. Algae blooms also take oxygen from the water that species like crabs and oysters need to survive.

Loss of forests and wetlands: Forests and wetlands can serve as a sink for excess nutrients--absorbing them before they reach the Bay. But in urban and suburban areas around the Chesapeake Bay many of the forests and wetlands have been removed. 100 acres of forest habitat in the Bay watershed are lost each day due primarily to development.

Too many hard surfaces: The watershed is covered with too much pavement and other hard surfaces that water cannot run through, such as roads, rooftops, sidewalks, and parking lots (also called "impervious surfaces"). These hard surfaces make up 21 percent of all urban lands in the Bay watershed. Not only do they contribute to the excess nutrients (by making it easier for nutrients to be picked up by rain), they also have their own set of problems. Water that falls on these surfaces cannot be slowly absorbed into the ground to replenish area groundwater, but instead flows quickly into streams and rivers, causing erosion, or directly into storm sewers, causing flooding.

Yes you are correct, it's not just run off from selected counties, but it is true that is a factor.

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DWTripp wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
sfox wrote:
In all seriousness though, if you don't want to pay this 'rain tax' then just move somewhere else. That is the nature of things like taxes, they are trivial to avoid.


Yeah, picking up your family and possessions, relocating, and finding new employment is such a lark.


I'm not even sure what this guy Fox's point was. Some taxes are sensible, others are destructive. This one is destructive because it taxes something that residents are 100% not in control of to begin with. It will deter economic growth and do more harm than good for the region.

That's another side of the "nature of taxes". Bad ones ruin economies and end up reducing the quality of life, the quality of the regional environment and force people to move elsewhere, which further erodes the local economy.


My point was that the OP didn't make any argument at all as to what was wrong with the rain tax and just went on a rant about all these targeted taxes, implying that they were all bad.

While trying to come up with a way to encourage property owners and developers to leave more green space seems like a laudable goal in itself, it doesn't do anything to address the actual problem (nitrogen runoff). Nitrogen runoff is caused by excessive use of fertilizer on lawns, golf courses, farms (primarily farms so far as I understand), etc. The rain tax doesn't tax any of the things which are causing the problem. It is a stupid tax that is subsiding bad behavior instead of punishing those who are behaving badly.

Property taxes, gasoline taxes, tobacco taxes, alcohol taxes, any many other taxes are very effective and achieve exactly what they need to do. If the OP wanted to just complain about the stupidity of the rain tax then that is what he should have done instead of whining about taxes in general.
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sfox wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
sfox wrote:
In all seriousness though, if you don't want to pay this 'rain tax' then just move somewhere else. That is the nature of things like taxes, they are trivial to avoid.


Yeah, picking up your family and possessions, relocating, and finding new employment is such a lark.


I'm not even sure what this guy Fox's point was. Some taxes are sensible, others are destructive. This one is destructive because it taxes something that residents are 100% not in control of to begin with. It will deter economic growth and do more harm than good for the region.

That's another side of the "nature of taxes". Bad ones ruin economies and end up reducing the quality of life, the quality of the regional environment and force people to move elsewhere, which further erodes the local economy.


My point was that the OP didn't make any argument at all as to what was wrong with the rain tax and just went on a rant about all these targeted taxes, implying that they were all bad.

While trying to come up with a way to encourage property owners and developers to leave more green space seems like a laudable goal in itself, it doesn't do anything to address the actual problem (nitrogen runoff). Nitrogen runoff is caused by excessive use of fertilizer on lawns, golf courses, farms (primarily farms so far as I understand), etc. The rain tax doesn't tax any of the things which are causing the problem. It is a stupid tax that is subsiding bad behavior instead of punishing those who are behaving badly.

Property taxes, gasoline taxes, tobacco taxes, alcohol taxes, any many other taxes are very effective and achieve exactly what they need to do. If the OP wanted to just complain about the stupidity of the rain tax then that is what he should have done instead of whining about taxes in general.


Huh. The OP clearly addressed the rain tax, the unfunded mandate and questioned where the EPA got such authority. He linked to a decently informative article and quoted a line from a Beatles song that was contextually in sync with the point. The point was clearly that this particular tax is oppressive and punitive to the exact wrong people.

There was no whining, that's your "spin". There was no "rant", that too is you apparently feeling the need to diminish the worth of the OP despite seeming to be in agreement with him that the tax is bullshit.
 
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tscook wrote:
isaacc wrote:
tscook wrote:
I hope I use my eventual geography degree to do shit like this to piss off motherfuckers like you~


A degree in geography...is that like a degree in 18th century French literature? You should probably move South, where you can keep a car for 20 years if you take care of it.
.


It is more like a degree in computer science or statistics, sorry you're a fucking idiot.


Nah. It's more like a course in people, places and things. Lots of people with that degree go on to become climatologists so they can get a paying job that doesn't demand any degree of accuracy, or even results.
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Donald wrote:
How about BBG collecting a duplicate thread tax? They'd clean up this week.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/960697/the-rain-tax


Better Business Group?
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How did Democrats lose Maryland? Meet the rain tax. -- Matthew Yglesias

http://www.vox.com/2014/11/6/7159239/rain-tax

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120152/anthony-brown-didn...

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/governor/md/mar...
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