Bloated county policies start with “partnerships,” like the recent Thurston County Mazama pocket gopher policy created in partnership with Fish and Wildlife and funded by federal grants. The underlying costs always fall to property owners and taxpayers, which in this case not only limits property use but will now cost Thurston taxpayers more due to a lawsuit. This is how government extends unlawful overreach into your pocket and your backyard.
The state Legislature initiated RCW 70.118A directing 12 shoreline counties to create a Marine Recovery Area onsite septic system management plan (OSMP) to mitigate pollution in the sound. The OSMP was arbitrarily implemented by WAC 264-272A-0015 to encompass “all Washington waters” including private septic systems and wells. Now, Thurston County wants to collect $3 million in fees from 53,000 private septic owners by adding the fee to their property taxes to fund the OSMP.
The Constitution is not a law to be obeyed by citizens. It is a code designed to stem government overreach, which in turn protects individual rights. The abuse of property rights to protect a pest and taxing privately installed waste disposal systems are 10th Amendment violations, which “reserves to the states or the people all powers not granted to the national government.”
Significantly, the US Supreme Court has barred the federal government from commandeering the states to enforce waste disposal regulations. WAC 264-272A-0015, which compels Thurston County to include “all Washington waters” in the OSMP, is blatant overreach by the state and embedded by Thurston County.