This anecdote was just too strange not to post...
So, today I came home after school to find a slip of paper stuck in my door. At first I thought it was a notice that I'd received a package, but this piece of paper was much bigger than normal. I pulled it out and unfolded it. It was a nondescript letter printed on very cheap paper, addressed to no one in particular.
It informed me that the town water company, SC Meridian, was going to be collecting its standard "meterological water" charges. "Hmm, meteorological water. What could that mean?," I thought to myself. "Could they mean rain?" I read on to find out more. The letter went on to request that residents complete a simple form and return it to the company, so they could calculate the proper charges. The form asked some seemingly silly questions, like: out of what materials is your place of residence constructed? Does your property include terraces, driveways, etc made of asphalt or concrete? Are there any sport complexes nearby? Do you have a gutter system? I'm not sure if I translated it correctly, but I think there may have also been a question about the estimated amount of rainwater that has fallen off my roof (how would I even attempt to calculate this?).
All this seemed too ludicrous to be true, so I took the slip over to the land-lady's to talk to her about it. I thought perhaps it was a belated April fool's joke. Paying a tax for the rain? Come on now, how can they be serious? However, my land-lady assured me it was not a joke. The water company was in fact charging the town residents for rainwater. She said they do it quarterly (funny that this was the first notice I'd received). She took my form and said she'd fill it out and submit it for me.
So, I guess now I just wait for the bill. I don't really understand the idea behind this tax. It would seem the water company is just fishing for an extra buck or two. The best I can figure is that the money is for maintenance of the drainage and sewage systems. But if that's the case, why not just call it the "drainage and sewage tax"? I'd be impressed if the city uses the money to control pollution of storm water. Who knows.
In any case, I was somewhat surprised, and rather amused by these "meteorological" charges. The whole situation reminds me of the Beatles song "Tax Man."