I thought this was a joke artical until I read it......man these polaticians are getting crative in the ways they come up with to take our $$$$....guess air ans sex tax are next.....kinda scary if this passes.... Last updated on Thu Aug 22 23:23:52 CDT 2002 City to tax rainwater By Jerome Christenson / Winona Daily News Starting next year, rainwater will no longer be free in the city of Winona. While it hasn't figured out how to tax air or sex, beginning in 2003 the Winona City Council will charge city property owners for the rain that falls on their land. As part of the 2003 budget process, the council gave tentative approval to the creation of a $200,000 stormwater fund. The money will be generated by a charge, similar to water and sewer charges, billed to owners of property that drains into the city storm sewer system. The stormwater fund was discussed by council and staff Monday night. The new city fee comes compliments of the federal government, according to city manager Eric Sorensen. As part of an effort to control nonpoint source water pollution from runoff, the federal government is looking at putting water-quality standards on the discharge from city storm sewers. Runoff from lawns, streets and parking lots can carry a wide range of contaminants, including dog droppings, lawn chemicals, fertilizers, gasoline, oil and an assortment of litter. Public works director Keith Nelson said that while the regulations haven't been formulated yet, one thing is safe to assume: "It's going to cost money." Establishing a stormwater fund at this time offers the city a degree of protection from the financial shocks that are likely to result from federal actions. Nelson said fees will be based on a complex formula that factors in roof areas, paved surfaces, lawns, wooded areas, agricultural land and other features in determining how much water runs off to be collected by city storm sewers. A piece ofproperty that is virtually covered by a building and paved parking lot would pay at a higher rate than a parcel the same size that was largely lawn, garden or woodland. As very preliminary, non-specific estimates, Nelson suggested that a 1/3 acre residential lot in an R2 zone might be assessed about $14.15 a year or $3.54 per utility bill. A half-acre lot, zoned R1, might be assessed $15.92 a year or $3.98 on each utility bill. "It's just like using city water or the sanitary sewer," Nelson said. Councilman Dieter Mielimonka said when the charge is billed there should be a note added to every bill - "This charge due to a federal mandate."