Hidden 'eco' taxes

I just discovered that if you install a new furnace in parts of California, state law requires you to pay $400-$600 to have your ducts inspected to ensure they don’t leak too much.  Since a leaking duct simply means that your heating efficiency isn’t as high as it could be, and since there is no safety issue, this expense is solely to make eco-freaks happy.

This inspection fee is in addition to the normal permitting fee; the permitting fee makes some sense, since it ensures that your contractor has done a good job.

If the ducts do leak, which occurs about 5% of the time, you have to pay more money to have them fixed.

Note that if your ducts leak too much, you pay higher energy bills and possibly penalties for excessive usage if the government decides those are necessary.  But apparently the government doesn’t think homeowners can be counted on to make the right economic decision for themselves.

This is an example of a big hidden tax that the nanny state imposes on citizens.  With a furnace costing around $2,600, the duct inspection is a 15% tax to keep the nannies happy.

Basically if a homeowner’s furnace needs replacement, he’s subjected to an extra tax that people whose furnaces continue to work aren’t subjected to.  In the Obama economy, making hardworking Americans pay hundreds of dollars for a non-safety-related test that the vast majority of houses pass is nothing short of criminal.

But this is the sort of thing that the average American is subject to in liberals’ vision of how America should work.

It’s time to restrict the state to worrying about safety issues, not how people choose to spend their own money.

You can read more of Tom’s rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious, and feel free to follow him on Twitter.

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