$7 Billion or More in New Taxes for Virginians Under EPA Mandate

The EPA told Virginia earlier that it would impose costly measures on Virginia Counties, measures so costly that they would result in record property tax increases in places like Fairfax County Virginia. The measures were designed to make the Chesapeake Bay cleaner. The EPA left open the door to less costly measures to achieve the same goal if Virginia could suggest any to the EPA’s liking.

Virginia has now attempted to do just that, submitting a $7 billion plan to make water going into the Chesapeake Bay purer. But The Washington Examiner reports that the EPA will likely reject it in favor of more costly measures.

So it looks like Virginia taxpayers will be paying at least $7 billion, probably a lot more, to comply with the EPA’s costly mandates. (Virginia, like most states — but unlike the federal government — has a constitutional requirement that it maintain a balanced budget, so it can’t just borrow and spend the $7 billion, it has to raise taxes to pay for it, or dump the cost on its municipal governments to raise themselves through higher property taxes.)

Virginia officials have been critical of the EPA’s proposed measures, calling them a “massive unfunded federal mandate.” 

In addition to higher property taxes, homeowners in liberal Washington suburbs face costly new “green building” regulations at the hands of local governments. For example, the Arlington County Board is also mulling new energy regulations that could increase the cost of home renovations by as much as 40 percent.

Taxpayers in Maryland counties like Montgomery may also end up paying increased taxes due to the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay regulations.