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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

‘Rain tax’? This case proves it

Written July 13th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

John Robinson has to pay Albany’s rain tax on property he owns even though it does not drain to any city system. His case illustrates that what the city calls a storm water utility charge is not a service fee but in fact a tax.


Albany rain tax: Ready to start

Written February 24th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

In case you lost track of the coming Albany rain tax, here’s a reminder: It takes effect March 1 and will start showing up on the city’s combined water and sewer bills next month.


News for a gray day: Rain tax

Written November 14th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

The November rain is back, which reminds me: Albany’s rain tax, in the works for most of the past two years, now is set and will show up on city utility bills starting in March.

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The rain tax: An expense for some

Written October 11th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

Many homeowners may hardly notice Albany’s planned new storm water utility fee — a rain tax, in other words — when it takes effect next year. But for the city’s utility customers with the largest amounts of impervious surface, such as schools and companies with big buildings and parking lots, it will be a bigger expense. How much […]


Rain tax sidelight: A little mystery?

Written September 5th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

The campaign to prepare Albany ratepayers for a rain tax continues. I was reminded of the city’s plan for a “storm water utility” on Monday when I passed a storm drain from which flowed a thin but steady stream. The mystery: Where was that water coming from since it’s been days since we’ve had not a “storm” but a few […]


Albany rain tax: How about ‘tiers’?

Written June 20th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

Depending on the size of the footprint of their houses, Albany single-family residential water and sewer customers would pay 50 cents more or less than the proposed standard $6.74 monthly storm water utility fee — or rain tax as I like to call it — under a three-tier system proposed to the city council Monday.


Ballot title muddies rain tax issue

Written May 2nd, 2016 by Hasso Hering

Albany’s plan to impose and collect a fee for storm water management — a rain tax, as I’ve called it — is being clouded by legalistic hair-splitting. So let’s try to lay it out straight.


Rain tax: A hint on its likely size

Written April 11th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

Still no word on what Albany’s proposed rain tax will cost you when – not if – it starts being collected, probably starting next spring. No definite word, at least, but an unauthorized hint based on arithmetic alone.


Rain tax: What does EPA really want?

Written March 18th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

In its march toward an Albany rain tax, the city council says the foremost reason for adopting this storm water disposal fee is a federal requirement. But it’s not clear that the feds actually require very much or that what they require has to cost a lot of money.


Rain tax average: $9 monthly

Written March 7th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

Nobody can yet say how stiff Albany’s rain tax will be. But in Oregon cities that already have one, the average is just under $9 a month.


 
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