Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pay for rain?

Here's one way to combat urban sprawl, especially with stadiums and "power centers" and the huge asphalt footprint they create.   It's called a "rain tax" or a "runoff tax" and it put a surcharge on properties based on the impact that property has on storm sewer systems.   Currently, we pay a sewer charge based on the amount of water that is used regardless of footprint.

Obviously, since parking lots drain the most, they would pay more, say in the tens of thousands per year -- and take some of the burden off of lower income households who are getting hammered by the drastic increase in sewer charges; their sewer charge would drop to, say, $70 or so per year.   One reason this is being considered right now is the wild weather we've had in Southern Ontario, with several thousand homes in the lower east end of Hamilton having storm backwater valves installed (you can tell which by which properties have a green pipe with a white cap out front).

Much suggests that a lot of the storm water that clogs the sewers during major events comes from parking lots which do not pre-treat water on site before sending them down the ditches and rivers and / or sewers, unlike industrial companies which have to by law.

I'm not the first to suggest it but it is seriously being considered by the idiots at Hamilton City Hall (I call them idiots because that's all we ever do here, elect a pack of idiots).   I personally think it's a smart idea, but what do you think?

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