Friday, April 16, 2010

Howard County’s Mr. Green

Our guest today on “and then there’s that…” was Stan Serson, the founder of the Green Building Institute and a host of other enterprises that are headquartered in the Enviro Center, a restored farmhouse he redeveloped in Jessup. Stan brings a business perspective to what he refers to as “regenerative design” and the economic imperative for changing the way we view building and energy consumption.

I’ve known Stan for a long time. I first made his acquaintance back in the eighties when fire retardant plywood used in homebuilding began failing. Stan actually invented and later patented a device that was able to measure the structural integrity of roofs that were constructed with this material. He was an expert witness in one of the largest class action suits against the manufacturers of the product. He has also worked with several homeowners associations in helping them to set up and manage their reserve funds.

We also had a little fun with the subject of taxes. Paul shared a report that determined that only 53% of US households will actually pay taxes for 2009. The other 47% will pay no taxes which means that half of the country is working for the other half. Earlier this week on the same subject was covered on the Diane Rehm Show on WAMU. What is even more disturbing is that about half of those who didn’t pay any tax will actually get money back through a variety of tax credits.

Maybe I should just stop working.

You can hear the latest podcast here.


John said...

To REALLY save on taxes, you need to be wealthy:

The McCourts, who own the Los Angeles Dodgers (so she says; he says he's the owner and she's not), jointly pocketed income totaling $108 million from 2004 through 2009, according to documents Jamie McCourt recently filed in the couple's divorce case in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

On that sum, they paid zero federal and state income tax. Jamie suggests that some tax breaks will apply this year too.

Freemarket said...

And as was pointed out in the podcast, many of the 47% who pay no taxes actually get money back from credits. About half of the people exploiting the other half is pretty much what should be expected from a system like ours. My worldview is confirmed! Yay!

Anonymous said...

Suprised to see this post. Next thing you know, you'll be proposing a 20 percent flat tax for everyone. Hey, that's a good idea!