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
  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Opposition and inclusion understood

    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014

  • Northern Garrett Rescue Squad raising funds, seeks members

    The Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad recently conducted several fund raising events to raise funds for new Lifepak 15’s, which are EKG monitors with AED / defibrillator.

    July 16, 2014