New homeowner tax for stormwater runoff?

New homeowner tax for stormwater runoff?

Rhode Island homeowners and businesses will soon be facing another tax increase. Because stormwater runoff is causing major pollution problems, laws have been passed to allow each city and town in Rhode Island to set up Stormwater Utilities which will have the power to tax every local homeowner and business for the amount of stormwater runoff they produce. According to the Department of Environmental Managment (DEM), the average homeowner fee will be between $2 and $4 per month. However, every taxpayer knows that these types of fees have a way of greatly increasing over time.

Property taxes are already too high and homeowners and businesses are not responsible for this stormwater runoff. The DEM has been aware of the stormwater ruoff problem for many years and has had access to millions of dollars of state and federal funds. The solutions to the stormwater runoff problem have also been known for years and the DEM should be providing state and federal funds to solve this problem. The state of Rhode Island should be looking for ways to reduce local property taxes not raise them.

Kenneth Berwick

Smithfield