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A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

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 […]

Albany rain tax details emerge

Written June 6th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

Now we have a better idea how much Albany’s coming  rain tax — the official tag is storm water utility fee — will cost each and every household, depending on what the city council later decides. While no decisions have been made, the council spent two hours Monday being briefed on the potential details.

Albany may kill rainwater law, for now

Written May 20th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

Albany’s new law setting up a storm water or rain tax utility is on the city council’s Monday work session agenda to be repealed. But even if it is repealed, it likely won’t be gone forever or for long.

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 ? Uncertainty prevails

Written March 23rd, 2016 by Hasso Hering

The rules under which small Oregon towns will have to operate their storm water systems are still in flux, and how costly they will be and what effect they will have on Albany’s eventual rain tax nobody knows.

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.

Rain tax won’t be called that

Written March 5th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

The faint gurgling you hear in the video will soon, in Albany, be the sound of money draining away. Because whether you call it that or not, it’s clear that what the city government is planning is a rain tax by another name.

Prepping for an Albany “rain tax”

Written January 9th, 2015 by Hasso Hering

In Albany, 2015 may turn out to be the “Year of he Rain Tax.” At least it looks to me as though the city staff is preparing the council to accept the need for more money to deal with runoff during storms. “Rain tax” is my shorthand for some kind of funding mechanism that would pay for […]

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