NJ Gov. Signs Bizarre 'Rain Tax' Money Grab Into Law

P. Gardner Goldsmith | March 29, 2019

On Feb 13, I reported on the passage by the New Jersey legislature of the so-called “Rain Tax,” a law that allows local municipalities to literally tax property owners for the potential runoff that could be shed from their property and “managed” by those governments.

Guess what? Democrat Gov. Phil “RainMan” Murphy just signed it into law.

What will it do? Well, as Scott Fallon writes for NorthJersey.com:

The bill, S-1073, lets municipalities and counties create their own local stormwater utility that could then charge property owners a fee based on "a fair and equitable approximation" of how much runoff is generated from their property. 

Anyone could be hit, from individual homeowners to business owners with large roofs and parking lots. And check this out: since the politicians who pushed this are so concerned with the cost runoff could impose on an aging “water management system,” they munificently made sure that 5 percent of the loot taken from property owners can be shifted into municipal general funds, and 5 percent will go to a state fund.

Remember, this isn’t about finding new ways to tax people in a place that’s already become the top state for population flight in the U,S.

Writes collectivist “smart growth” org New Jersey Future:

The bill permits municipalities, counties and utilities to charge a fee to property owners based on their properties’ impact on the stormwater management system. The funds collected are required to be used for initiatives that will reduce stormwater flooding and polluted runoff. Property owners have the option to reduce their fees through the addition of features such as rain gardens, permeable pavement,and green roofs that manage rainfall on the property, so that it never enters the municipal stormwater system.

Good luck managing that.

What about soil density? What about ledge? Why is it assumed that the government should manage runoff in the first place? The government has no liability risk if its politicians and bureaucrats mess up – which they do all the time.

In fact, Gov. Murphy promotes the idea of the state subsidizing people to build homes, or rebuild homes, in flood-prone areas, creating what economists call a “moral hazard,” whereby private actors are prompted by government subsidy or indemnification to act more recklessly than they would if they were operating on a strictly free market foundation of supply, demand, and personal risk for failure. In October of 2018, alone, Murphy pushed for $50 million more in aid to homeowners whose private property was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Well known reporter and commentator John Stossel has already spoken about how bad the federal flood insurance program is, and how it prompts people to continue building and living in areas where they either should not live, or it should be more expensive to get flood insurance because the areas are prone to flooding. Yet people like Murphy seem doggedly determined to overlook economic reality.

And how about farmers?

Well, that special interest gets a “bye” from the NJ “rain tax.” Forget the fact that farms are often some of the worst culprits for the runoff of dangerous chemicals that could poison other peoples’ water. Nope. These aren’t the Droids you’re looking for.

Is it any wonder why people are fleeing NJ in droves? Couple this with high taxes, an ammunition magazine law that is not only flagrantly unconstitutional, but is inspiring people to flout the law, and with a NJ law that literally allows the politicians to fund news reporters – and doesn’t call it what it is: propaganda – and it seems quite sensible that a large swath of intelligent New Jersey residents are planning on becoming former New Jersey residents.

Looks like the moving companies will be busy in NJ, heading out, rain or shine.