‘Rain Tax’ Likely to Become Reality In New Jersey, Weather Modification

‘Rain Tax’ Likely to Become Reality In New Jersey, Weather Modification

Feb. 20, 2019– Mary Greeley News – New Jersey is one of the highest taxed states in the country.

New Jersey Republicans are warning property owners to hold onto their wallets when the sky starts to cloud up. Calling the recently passed stormwater utility bill (A2694 and S1073) a “rain tax,” opponents of the bill argue that the state has found a new way to tax property owners who are already among the most heavily taxed in the nation.

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Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah
But, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
Hey, feelin’ good was good enough for me, mm-hmm
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee

Save it for a rainy day. Some of your hard-earned dollars may be taken away as the weather turns ugly and rain drops fall on the Garden State. A new bill calls for the creation of local or regional storm water utilities, giving local counties and municipalities the power to collect a tax from properties with large paved surfaces such as parking lots, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.

Looking to 40 other states that have passed legislation to aid in stormwater management, the advocates of the bill say that the impact of the legislation will be to help local communities fight pollution and reduce flooding by providing a dedicated revenue source with which to manage stormwater systems.

The bill would focus on stormwater runoff from rain and flood events that “runs off” impervious surfaces like roads, roofs, driveways, and parking lots. The proponents of the bill argue that this runoff carries with it debris, bacteria, and chemicals that eventually find their way into state waterways and drinking water.

Weather modification is the act of intentionally manipulating or altering the weather. The most common form of weather modification is cloud seeding, which increases rain or snow, usually for the purpose of increasing the local water supply

The most common chemicals used for cloud seeding include silver iodide, potassium iodide and dry ice (solid carbon dioxide). Liquid propane, which expands into a gas, has also been used. This can produce ice crystals at higher temperatures than silver iodide.

Many of New Jersey’s rivers, lakes and other bodies of water are in better shape than in previous decades, thanks to the slow implementation of the 1972 Clean Water Act, which has curbed sewage discharges and runoff.

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That’s businesses and homeowners.

The bill passed in the Senate and the Assembly and is now headed to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk.

“With all the salt that we’ve had on roads recently, that’s all running into the sewer systems. So, you can’t ignore problems because they don’t go away,” Senate President Steve Sweeney said.

Sweeney said most states already have storm water utilities that collect and filter runoff from storms. In New Jersey, the runoff goes directly into streams, rivers and bays, carrying with its pollution like lawn fertilizers that contaminate the waterways.

Former governor and current state Sen. Richard Codey said it’s necessary.

“A lot of our economy is based on, obviously, the shore. We gotta make sure we keep it that way,” Codey said.

Some homeowners aren’t a fan of the plan, either.

“They are crazy. As it is, there are too much taxes in New Jersey,” Elizabeth resident Ramon Columna said. “Why would we want more taxes especially on cement, ya know?”

‘Rain Tax’ Likely to Become Reality In New Jersey, Weather Modification

“Our homeowner’s taxes are as high as they can possibly be. They shouldn’t go any higher. It’s not fair,” resident Leslie Cedillo added.

Some Republicans have dubbed the bill the “Rain Tax,” saying another tax makes New Jersey even more unaffordable, and state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. agrees.

“We all want to protect our environment. We all want to preserve it for future generations. But this is a weighted tax. The citizens of New Jersey … really with no oversight and no way to defend themselves against tax increases at local levels,” Kean said.

When asked what he would say to taxpayers who say they cannot afford another tax, Codey said, “It’s a small cost to live safely.”

Other supporters say creating these utilities would help reduce flooding caused by storms.

Mary Greeley News

credit: In part with https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/02/04/rain-tax-likely-to-become-reality-in-new-jersey/
And https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_modification#/media/File:Cloud_Seeding.svg