The Great Fee Squeeze By State & Local Governments

Here is comes, your State & Local Governments are so broke, they are now squeezing people with fees, digging up cash where ever they can. They are even charging non-profits and churches.

The Wall Street Journal:

Some cities are charging religious groups property taxes on buildings no longer used for worship. Other localities are soliciting voluntary contributions. Albany, N.Y., recently passed an ordinance asking schools, hospitals and other nonprofits to contribute to city services.

In Minneapolis, residents recently began paying a street-light fee that also applies to nonprofits, which in some places pay fees for elevator safety and fire inspection.

Drainage fees that apply to nonprofits have been adopted by cities that include Richmond, Va.; Lafayette, Ind.; and Verona, Wis. Such fees are emerging now because the federal government has been cracking down on how cities handle the rain that rolls off roofs, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces, sometimes causing floods and ripping up roads. The runoff can collect debris, oil and other pollutants and ultimately drag it all into the nation's waterways.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency recently issued strict storm-water rules for real-estate developments and stepped up enforcement of run-off rules for municipalities. In 2010, municipalities accused of violations paid $5.3 billion in repairs, a nearly four-fold increase from 2009. Those settlements ranged from Kansas City, Mo., with $2.5 billion in fixes, to Revere, Mass., which agreed to spend $50 million on repairs.

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that cities and towns need to spend more than $250 billion over the next five years fixing crumbling storm systems.

By all means, cut those taxes and bail out Wall Street, surely all of those services and things we all take for granted will be just fine.

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