No, laMaine. Hasn't anything to do with lunar cycles.George is just a closet liberal. You have come out of said closet. :D :p
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Group intent on water tax legislationBy SUSAN M. COVER
Staff WriterCopyright Â© 2004 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.Â A group that supports a tax on bottled water plans to pursue legislation next year, regardless of whether it got the needed number of signatures for a citizen initiative.The group wants to place a 3-cents-per-20-ounce fee on water extracted in Maine that is sold for profit. Full story:
I believe the tax would be assessed on annual withdrwals over 500,000 gallons, not 3 cents for every 20 ounces.
The fee is correct. It just exempts anyone who extracts less than 500,000 gallons a year. You go over and you pay 9.6 cents a gallon or $48,000 for the pleasure of providing good paying jobs to the folks in Northwestern Maine.Steven ScharfSCSMedia@aol.com
If this was Las Cruces, NM and the water was being shipped to Texas I could see the problem. But we don't have a shortage of water here. (Most of the time we have too much of it!)The proponents of this tax need to show some evidence that the activities of companies like Poland Spring have some adverse effect on someone else's water supply before they will have any credibility.As far as I know there isn't any evidence.
Some Maine water facts (courtesy Bob Marvinney, Maine State Geologist)Average annual rainfall: 42 inches. Equivalent to 73,500,000 acre feet or 24 trillion gallons statewide.Run-off: About 50% of precipitation, or 12 trillion gallons, runs off the landscape in streams and rivers.Evaporation/transpiration: About 30-40% of precipiation evaporates or is transpired through vegetation. This equals 7-10 trillion gallons.Infiltration to groundwater: About 10-20% of precipitation infiltrates to recharge groundwater. This is about 2-5 trillion gallons annually.Mapped sand and gravel aquifers occupy about 1,300 square miles of Maine's landscape. Annual recharge to these aquifers is about 240 billion gallons.One inch of Sebago Lake contains about 800 million gallons of water.Sebago Lake is the public water supply for about 200,000 people, serving them with about 8.5 billion gallons annually (about 10 inches of Sebago Lake water).Bottled water producers in Maine use about 500 million gallons of water each year.Some large blueberry growers irrigate with nearly 400 million gallons during dry years.
I don't think this will pass, even if it does make it onto the ballot. There are too many people buying bottled water as a necessity who will be unwilling to vote in a cost increase.It would be like the state asking if you'd like to give them an automobile excise tax increase.Um, can we all spell 'NO THANKS?"
Great, another brilliant plan to drive more business out of Maine.
So, all of Maine's water bottlers combined use less than the equivalent of one inch of Sebago Lake per year.All of Maine's water bottler's combined use 0.2% of the water that recharges Maine's sand a gravel aquifers (the places they pump from)[ 11-19-2004: Message edited by: Mark T. Cenci ]
Mark, excellent points and info, thanks.So, the next question is, where is the motivation/agenda for this initiative really coming from?
Motivation??? More money in the politians hands to waste.
Tax money, yes.I suspect they also can't stand an "unregulated" industry. One of the provisions in their bill is to establish a regulatory authority over groundwater pumping. (However, the industry *is* regulated, insofar as groundwater extractors must obtain approval from the Maine DEP and the Maine Geological Survey.They think this is a good idea because in Alaska the citizens get payolla from the oil drillers. So we should get payolla from the bottlers, right?There is some talk about people's wells running dry near a bottler. I'd like to see a professional's report on the matter.
Wow - is there a full moon out there? Me and George are in agreement twice within one hour.