Editor’s Note: Several years after this blog post was published, the Spanish parliament removed its controversial Royal Decree against self-consumption of solar energy.
I understand that times are tough.They keep telling us that the economy is improving, but individuals, businesses, states, counties and even countries are trying to figure out ways to generate more revenue in order to balance their budgets.
But officials in Spain have come up with something that is so outlandish that I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it. They’ve decided to start taxing people who have installed solar panels on their roofs. And what exactly are they taxing? Their usage of the sun. Believe it or not, they are actually taxing people’s use of the sun to generate electricity in their homes.
Obama Administration officials must have kicked themselves for not having thought of this first.
Two international publications have labeled this taxation as “ludicrous” and “stupid.” A Forbes magazine reporter wrote, “You get the feeling that government officials, out of ideas, stared up at the sky one day and thought, ‘I’ve got it! We’ll tax the sun!'”
Teresa Ribera, a senior adviser to the Paris-based Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, said the law was “illogical in terms of energy efficiency and costs” and “a serious invitation by the government for citizens to become anti-system.”
If I had the ear of the folks who came up with this idea, I’d say, “When did you take over ownership of the sun?” I’d also ask, “From whom did you acquire the sun?” And finally, I’d want to know, “Are you also going to tax everyone who goes to the beach to get a sun tan? Because, while you’re at it, you might as well tax everyone who benefits in any way from the sun, which, of course, would be all of us.”
No, I’d better not give them that idea. I’ve heard of some ridiculous laws in my day, and I’ve seen many politicians behave in incredibly audacious manners. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything quite this far-fetched.
What about you? What’s the most absurd law you’ve ever heard of? I’d love to hear about it.