Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Whose house is it anyway?

I was not happy with the House of Representatives voting for the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill. Well, it turns out that the bill is much, much worse than I was even aware:
The program requires that states label their buildings so that we can all know how efficient every building (that includes residential and non-residential buildings) is and it requires that the information be made public. To that end, the bill suggests a number of circumstances under which the states could inspect a building, including:

(A) preparation, and public disclosure of the label through filing with tax and title records at the time of--

(i) a building audit conducted with support from Federal or State funds;

(ii) a building energy-efficiency retrofit conducted in response to such an audit;

(iii) a final inspection of major renovations or additions made to a building in accordance with a building permit issued by a local government entity;

(iv) a sale that is recorded for title and tax purposes consistent with paragraph (8);

(v) a new lien recorded on the property for more than a set percentage of the assessed value of the property, if that lien reflects public financial assistance for energy-related improvements to that building; or

(vi) a change in ownership or operation of the building for purposes of utility billing; or

(B) other appropriate means.

Pay close attention to (iii), (iv), and (vi) because those hit you right where you live. What that's saying is the state will be empowered to inspect your home if you want to 1) renovate your house in any way that requires a building permit, 2) sell your house, or 3) change the name of the person responsible for any utility bill.

You think that the housing market's bad now? If this were to pass, well, you ain't seen nothing yet...

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