When it rains, it pours — but the trickling sound coming from New Jersey could be taxpayers’ money going down the drain, at least if liberals get their way.
Just months after residents in that state voted for nearly all Democrats in the last election, including electing Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy to replace Republican former Gov. Chris Christie, the left has found a bizarre new way to dig into people’s pockets: A “rain tax.”
According to WLNY, a CBS station in New York, New Jersey has passed a stormwater utility bill that imposes fees on property owners — individuals and businesses — who have large parking areas that get wet during downpours.
“New Jersey is one of the highest taxed states in the country,” that news outlet reported. “Now, residents and businesses could be taxed extra … when it rains.”
“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,” the outlet continued.
The bill is almost guaranteed that the proposed tax will become law, since it has already passed the state Senate and state Assembly, and needs only Murphy’s signature to become official.
The reason for the proposal is environmental protection. Liberals hope to use money collected by the tax to fund programs that filter potentially polluted water runoff before it enters streams and rivers.
But public opinion seems to be overwhelmingly against the plan. An online survey conducted by the CBS affiliate revealed that a shocking 96 percent of respondents — nearly 18,000 people — think the “rain tax” is a terrible idea.
While that’s not a scientific poll, comments of residents seemed to match the overwhelmingly negative results.
“They are crazy. As it is, there are too much taxes in New Jersey,” a state resident identified as Ramon Columna told WLNY. “Why would we want more taxes, especially on cement, ya know?”
“Our homeowner’s taxes are as high as they can possibly be. They shouldn’t go any higher. It’s not fair,” echoed another resident.
But the Democrat-backed bill was able to move to the governor’s desk thanks to New Jersey voters’ liberal choices in the voting booth. Liberals hold a majority in both the state Senate and state General Assembly, allowing the left to fast-track legislation like this.
That fact marks a major disconnect between dissatisfied residents and their voting patterns. In simple terms, Jersey citizens seem to want less meddlesome, less expensive government while constantly voting for the opposite.
“We all want to protect our environment. We all want to preserve it for future generations. But this is a weighted tax,” pointed out state Sen. Tom Kean Jr., a Republican who was against the measure.
“The citizens of New Jersey … really (have) no oversight and no way to defend themselves against tax increases at local levels,” he warned.
There is, of course, a place for state and local taxes, but endlessly expanding the reach of government is not a sustainable solution.
Every new tax puts another burden on residents … and when that dam breaks, the flood New Jersey sees won’t be from rain water.
It will be from fed-up taxpayers leaving the state to go live somewhere else.
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