Grand Rapids, MI -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/08/2013 -- Financial advisor Dennis Tubbergen can usually be found helping his own clients. When he has a little free time he is busy writing his daily blog, his weekly newsletter Moving Markets or interviewing his next guest expert for his weekly radio show.
Tubbergen's next guest is Harry Dent, the editor of the newsletter Survive and Prosper and the author of The Great Crash Ahead: strategies for a world turned upside down. Dent's newsletter can be obtained for free by going to www.harrydent.com.
Tubbergen, who is an author, radio show host, and CEO of PLP Advisors, LLC, spends a lot of time giving his opinions on the economy in his online financial blog. On May 3, 2013 his blog was titled Rain Tax?
"Just when I thought I'd heard of everything, I ran across this article," began Tubbergen. "And I have to hand it to the politicians who thought of this. I've heard of income taxes, property taxes, estate taxes, sin taxes, gas taxes, and value-added taxes, but this latest tax is a new one -- even to me. Politicians in Maryland are implementing a rain tax."
Tubbergen quotes below from the April 16, 2013 article in The New American.
Rain, rain, go away. That's what Marylanders are saying now that their state government has decided to tax them on the amount of rain that falls on developed portions of their property.
Last week the Maryland legislature passed and Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a law that taxes property owners on the basis of "the square footage of impervious surfaces on a property," according to MarylandReporter.com. "The rationale is that roofs, driveways, and parking lots create more potential for drainage problems and water contamination. Local jurisdictions are supposed to determine how much to charge per square foot, but in general, the size of the fee would depend on the size of the buildings and paved surfaces on a property."
How will the government determine a property owner's tax liability? "The amount of impervious surface a property owner has will be calculated using satellite and geographical information system technology," reports Watchdog Wire.
Government property is exempt from the tax, but religious and nonprofit organizations are subject to it. A bill to exempt nonprofits -- including environmental organizations -- was proposed but failed.
MarylandReporter.com writes that Senate Republican Leader E.J. Pipkin noted the "irony of ironies": Environmental groups tried to obtain an exemption from the tax that they themselves were pushing as a means of improving the environment. "He said that the groups' stance was particularly galling, since much of the money raised through storm water fees would benefit them by subsidizing conservation projects."
Perhaps the major reason that religious and nonprofit groups were not exempted from the tax is that they tend to own large buildings with expansive parking lots, precisely the types of impervious surfaces that will rake in big bucks for the government. Residential owners are expected to pay about $100 a year to start -- a significant but not astronomical amount. Nonresidential owners, by contrast, are likely to be shelling out thousands of simoleons annually.
"But homeowners are going to pay the rain tax three times," observes Gazette columnist Blair Lee. "Once, on their homes. A second time because commercial leases force tenants (to) pay the landlord's property taxes, which the tenants will then pass on to their customers. And a third time as church members or supporters of nonprofit hospitals, private schools and charities."
All told, Maryland residents will have to cough up an additional $300 million each year because of precipitation on their property, the conservative group Change Maryland estimates.
"The only companies this tax will be good for are moving companies," concludes Tubbergen. "This will only provide another reason to move from Maryland."
To read the blog in its entirety go to http://www.dennistubbergen.com and select his May 3, 2013 entry.
Tubbergen’s syndicated radio show can be heard on metro Michigan stations WTKG 1230 AM and WOOD Newsradio1300 AM and 106.9 FM.
About Host Dennis Tubbergen
Dennis Tubbergen has been in the financial industry for over 25 years and has his corporate offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tubbergen is CEO of PLP Advisors, LLC and has an online blog that can be read at www.dennistubbergen.com. To view Tubbergen’s latest Moving Markets? newsletter, go to www.moving-markets.com.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the writer and not necessarily those of USA Wealth Management, LLC. This update may contain forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements as to future events that involve various risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those that were forecasted. Therefore, no forecast should be construed as a guarantee. Prior to making any investment decision, individuals should consult a professional to determine the risks, costs, benefits and fees associated with a particular investment. Information obtained from third party resources is believed to be reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed.