Washington State Senators Speak Out Against Proposed Cap and Tax

Stormwater Tax A Drop In The Bucket Compared To Potential Carbon Taxes

“This would be a regulatory maze far exceeding anything we’ve seen before,” said David Schoenbrod, a professor of environmental law at the New York Law School.

Sunnyside is struggling under the burden of trying to comply with stormwater runoff regulations under provisions of the Clean Water Act.  It has been a hot topic locally, with the City Council, under threat of litigation, temporarily rescinding the tax it had levied.

While City of Sunnyside staff try to come up with a way to comply with the complex regulations, the City has found itself incapable of properly assessing a tax on each individual parcel within the City limits.  Despite ongoing budget problems, which are blamed for the City’s failure to be able to properly tax landowners, the City Council approved additional pay raises for employees at its last meeting.

To be sure, the additional taxes will be a drag on the local economy, as they have been a drag on the American economy since they first started to be implemented years ago.

As if the problems created in D.C. are not enough, the EPA under Obama’s administration is now pursuing a new line of regulatory authority: regulating greenhouse gases.

Both Obama and McCain favored increasing taxes and regulations on greenhouse gases, they just differed on the details of how to do it.  Whether we have a carbon tax, or we try to implement a government run “cap and trade” program, the result will be more taxes, more regulation, and less money in the pockets of American citizens and businesspeople.

The ultimate insult regarding carbon taxes is that human beings are carbon based life forms.  Your very existence will be a taxable event under these proposed regulations.  It is not dependent on your behavior, or how green and environmentally conscious you may be.  If you breathe, you are generating carbon dioxide, which the government will tax.  And no, I am not joking.

Regulations have already been drafted to tax farmers on the number of cows they have.  The flatulence from cows is alleged to cause harm to the environment, and must be taxed.  The next step is to tax human existence as well.

Even supporters of cutting greenhouse gases, like the professor quoted at the top of this post, will admit that the complexity of trying to tax carbon is way beyond that of anything the government is currently regulating.

Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers are warning that it could hobble an already weak economy.  Proponents of increasing taxes and regulations say they are doing it for our “health and welfare”.

People will prosper most when the government gets out of the way, and allows us to live our lives in a free society.  These proposed increases in taxes and regulations will make doing business in the USA even more difficult than it already is.  What we would benefit from most, is not just halting growth in government under regulatory burdens, but for the government to simply leave us alone.  Without such interference, farmers, business owners, and job seekers will benefit.  This in turn will help increase the tax base, which will provide for better schools, and make it easier to cover administrative expenses at City Hall.

Reference:

The Washington Post: EPA presses Obama To Regulate Warming Under Clean Air Act

WSJ: EPA Raises Heat on Emissions Debate

FreedomWorks: Top Ten Reasons To Oppose Cap and Trade

Campaign For Liberty Fights For Washington Residents

The following text is from a Campaign For Liberty email I received.  Our representatives in Olympia are considering increasing taxes and regulations which will stifle the economy and personal freedoms in Washington.  Join the cause, and help defeat this threat to our Freedom:

February 2, 2009

Washington State Campaign for Liberty achieved a major defensive victory Friday after their members defeated a massive environmental package bill during a legislative committee hearing. However, we must be in Olympia again on Tuesday to fight another “cap and trade” bill. 

Despite the evidence against the man-made global warming theory, or “climate change,”  the Gregoire administration has ramped up its war against carbon-dioxide. The bill, entitled “Reducing Greenhouse Gases in Washington” (HB 1718), would have implemented a variety of proposals recommended by the Department of Ecology’s Climate Action Team, which demands a “comprehensive approach… towards a low-carbon future.”  

All of the provisions in the bill would have been disastrous for Washington’s economy due to massive intervention by the state government into business practices, building standards, fuel standards, property rights and individual driving habits. These proposals would have made travel more expensive and forced businesses to relocate from Washington or trade their products elsewhere. The bill would have also crippled the already struggling housing and construction industries. All of the recommendations would require many different industries to pass the burden of these new costs onto the public. 

Representative Matt Shea (R-Mead) and his staff alerted members of WA Campaign for Liberty about this threatening bill. Shea and Representative Shelly Short (R-Addy) had become concerned about the bill when they noticed that only two days notice had been given for the hearing before the Ecology & Parks Committee, not the four required by law. Sponsors were also attempting to push the bill through without posting a fiscal note or doing any cost projection, also against the rules. 

Representatives Shea, Short and their staff pored over the bill and uncovered, among many other things, proposals to: 

  • Impose new taxes
  • Toll the I-90 bridge but direct funds away from funding infrastructure and towards curbing “greenhouse gas” emissions
  • Create stringent rent control for new buildings
  • Mandate compliance with “green building codes
  • Impose extreme limits on the use and disposal of real property
  • Implement industry-killing “cap and trade” regulations

 
HB 1718 was designed to grant the Department of Ecology and Department of Transportation incredible new powers. The Department of Ecology would have had carte blanche in deciding the types of materials determined “covered product,” which would require businesses to cover all the costs of disposal and transport from customers disposing of the materials. Businesses could be fined as much as $10,000 per incident for noncompliance. 

The Department of Transportation would have been allowed ten years to evade voter approval for levying new taxes. Also, it would be required to find ways to limit the amount of miles driven by Washington motorists by likely imposing new taxes and penalties. 

A statement from Shea’s office was spread by Campaign for Liberty’s state-wide grassroots activist network and they enabled citizens from across the state, as well as several friendly organizations opposed to the measure, to learn of the urgent hearing and the extent of the radical proposals in the bill. Citizens came from around the state. Among the several from Spokane and Pend Oreille Counties, one man apparently drove throughout the night to make the 8am hearing. Each of our members later received a round of applause from the Republican Caucus. 

When the sign-in sheets reflected that attendance in the hearings was overwhelmingly due to public opposition to the proposed legislation, the Ecology and Parks Committee chair, Mr. Upthegrove, who was also a sponsor of the bill, announced that in response to the opposition he would not attempt to move the bill forward. Although he was not even fully supportive of all the proposals in the bill, Upthegrove apparently viewed the bill as an opportunity to “throw everything against the wall and see what would stick.” (Leave comments for him here.) 

However, Governor Gregoire herself has requested a hearing of the cap and trade portion of the bill, named “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions” (HB  1819). Also, HB 1819 is not the only bill proposing these sweeping measures to implement regulations on our daily activities based on the faulty premise that human action is responsible for cyclical climate trends.  The companion bill in the Senate, SB 5735, carries the same title and would also implement cap and trade. 

  • The hearing on HB 1819 will be Tuesday Feb. 3rd at 10am in House Hearing Room A in the John L. O’Brien Building.
  • The hearing on SB 5735 will be Tuesday Feb. 3rd at 10am in Senate Hearing Room 4 in the J.A. Cherberg Building.
  • View the map of the Capitol complex here; view a map of Olympia here.

 
If you absolutely cannot attend the hearings, make sure to: 

  • Visit the Washington State Legislature website to contact your senator and representatives and ask them to tell the following committees to kill both bills.
  • Leave comments for the Washington House of Representatives Ecology & Parks Committee members.
  • Leave comments for the Washington Senate Environment, Water & Energy Committee members.
  • Leave comments for the sponsors of HB 1819 or SB 5735. (Click on the name of each sponsor to visit their web page.)

 
Thank you again for all your hard work and dedication. Please be sure to show up on TUESDAY and testify against this attack on freedom in Washington State. 

Sincerely, 

Katja Delavar 

Campaign for Liberty is the only precinct-based grassroots action network fighting for Liberty at all levels of government. Visit CampaignforLiberty.com to sign up today and learn how you can begin making a difference for the cause of Liberty, as well as gain access to the tools for success!

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