Cumberland Times-News


July 8, 2013

You’re not taxed on rain, but on your impact

This is in reply to Renae D. Bloss’ letter regarding the Chesapeake Bay and the rain tax (“By now the Chesapeake Bay should be as clean as Eden,” May 30 Times-News).

I don’t want to sound like an advocate of the rain tax, because like many Marylanders, I think it’s a bit absurd. I would like to talk about Bloss’ comments regarding Gov. Martin O’Malley and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay is not some waterway affecting only the eastern shore of Maryland, and certainly is not their precious bay, but ours collectively as the human race, worldwide.

The principles of ocean science dictate that Earth is really one large ocean, with varying regions. All ocean water and freshwater is connected, and we are all connected to it, based on the facts of ocean literacy. I could go into the scientific details of how this works, but space is limited.

The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary, a very important ecosystem that enriches the adjoining ocean water. The health of the bay, and the health of the ocean are intimately connected, and the health of the oceans and the health of mankind are intimately connected as well.

There is no person worldwide who can claim non-ownership or non-responsibility for the bay’s health, or the health of any ocean or waterway. As I stated above, the principles of ocean science tell us that in all reality, Earth has one big ocean which acts as our life support system.

I cannot think of a better way to spend tax dollars than to clean up something we all have equal stake in, the Chesapeake Bay.

Gov. O’ Malley is responding to new EPA guidelines that state the bay’s health is not up to par. Maryland can either get it up to par or pay a hefty federal fine.

The rain tax doesn’t tax you on each rain drop that falls, but rather the amount of runoff that is displaced by your home. Runoff directly impacts water quality of bay and ocean resources, no matter where you are as all water eventually makes its way back to the ocean.

Improving your runoff management system, installing rain gardens, etc., will all impact how you are taxed based on rain.

While the rain tax is surprising folks, there is a simple way of looking at it. In order to meet new federal regulations Marylanders in certain counties can make their home have less of an environmental footprint, or pay a tax.

You aren’t being taxed on how much rain that falls, just how much of an impact your existence has on the planet.

The Chesapeake Bay could once feed the entire world. Now it cannot, and has been rapidly declining for many years, largely a result of the actions of man.

By ignoring the rules of ecology and being illiterate in ocean science, we have plunged this vast resource into a downward spiral. A spiral, which in the long run, is proving very expensive to get out of.

Jeremy Gosnell


Text Only
  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014

  • Military veterans have few friends in Washington, D.C.

    Our legislators in Washington must stop playing politics with our veterans, this is  especially true of Vietnam war veterans. Will the game playing carry over to our veterans of present day wars? Will they too become pawns? Veterans have few friends in Washington. Just like the Vietnam veterans, today’s veterans will face
    what we are up against, little to no support.

    April 13, 2014

  • One cannot compromise on God’s word

    A recent letter asked, “What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?” Most of us are familiar with John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse goes on to say, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”

    April 13, 2014

  • Ballpark project a partnership, not a government handout

    To the Editor:
    Regarding Mark Nelson’s recent objection to county government assistance to exploring the placement of a minor league baseball team in the Cumberland region, I would answer that the project should be considered a partnership between private enterprise and government. The private support would come by way of donations collected from local citizens, currently banked through the Dapper Dan Club.

    April 13, 2014

  • Group wants status quo on Sunday hunting

    Many Maryland residents have grown very concerned about two legislative bills that are arriving on the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley after being approved by both the Senate and House chambers this session. With the governor’s possible signature of these bills into law, hunting would be allowed on certain state lands on Sundays — a day in the past reserved for rest and non-hunters to enjoy public lands.

    April 10, 2014

  • New policies will grow better streamside buffers

    Well-functioning forest buffers along streams are perhaps the most effective and least costly best management practice we have to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

    April 10, 2014

  • City has changed, but it’s still a great place

    Is it better to be positive or negative? I have been reading postings about Growing Up in Cumberland, other Facebook pages, and from many of my Facebook friends. Talk about food and many people have positive comments. I love Coney Island hot dogs as much as anyone and have some every time I am in Cumberland.

    April 9, 2014

Latest news
Must Read
House Ads