What's next, the air we breathe?

December 13, 2013

This is a paraphrase from a report of a recent Newark City Council meeting. The council chamber was at overflow capacity and people were jamming themselves in from outside the door. On the agenda...A rain tax - a wacky law to tax citizens for the rain that falls from the sky on their property. It was tabled until February 24 because Newark Mayor Polly Sierer doesn't think public city council meetings are the appropriate place for her or the council members to answer any questions from the citizens concerning items on the agenda. "This isn't the place for these discussions." There are two absurd issues here.

Closer to home, a Milton homeowner was recently surprised to learn that his property tax bill increased 10 percent.The reason - last year he leased solar panels for his home, hoping to save approximately $20,000 over the next 20 years. The leasing company's president has indicated this is the first incident he's encountered of this kind. He and the home owner have yet to receive a satisfactory answer as to the city's rationale for imposing an increased property tax on a leased commodity. Does this mean if you keep your leased hybrid car in your garage it is subject to a property tax?

My point, demonstrated by these two "creative tax" situations, is that we as citizens need to be more and more vigilant as to the mindset of our local elected officials. It proves that they are capable, literally, of attempting to tax anything that moves or doesn't move. If by chance the rain tax should pass, the citizens of Newark will be praying for an extended drought.

Steve Hyle




  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 650 words or fewer.  We reserve the right to edit for content and length.