News spread quickly through the Shire today as the inhabitants received word that the central government will not apply the new Rain Tax to their hobbit homes, provided that they continue to bury them underneath the ground and do not pave their porous dirt and rock roads.
To date, Maryland is the only state to impose the rain tax, otherwise known as the Stormwater Remediation Fee, to home and business owners who have “impervious units” of surface area that is claimed to contribute to the problem of contaminated water reaching the Chesapeake Bay. The rain tax permits counties to impose a tax based on the square footage of buildings, driveways, or other man-made materials that do not allow rain to be absorbed into the ground. Not all counties in Maryland are affected and some charge more per impervious unit than others.
The debate continues as to whether or not Rivendell should be granted a similar tax exemption. While it clearly does possess many impervious units of surface space, most of it was constructed off the sides of a mountain waterfall, extending from steep inclines. The elves claim that their structures have had no impact on the environment, including the purity of the water flow, and that they are not responsible for any man-made problems.
To date, Minas Tirith has been the most severely affected by the new tax. Although it covers a relatively small horizontal space, it consists of 100% impervious units and has been proven to cause a massive water runoff problem in the valley. On the bright side, some say the stench of the runoff of human and animal excrement, not to mention decomposing plant and animal matter, is enough to kill an orc! Yuck!
Legislators had been expecting a bit of blowback from Mordor, but aside from a bit of smoke and rumbling, the fortress has so far been unexpectedly quiet.
As Paul Harvey would say: “And now you know the REST of the story.”