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...(Read Full Post)