Gulp! State Senate may tax drinking water from tap
State Senate may tax drinking water from tap.
The California Assembly’s Appropriations Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 623 last week, which would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.
SB 623 authorizes a monthly 95¢ tax on drinking water.
As the customer’s pipeline increases, the monthly tax would be $4 for a 1- to 2-inch pipe and up to $10 monthly if the pipe were larger than 4 inches.
The proposal authorizes two other tax levies: a $0.005 per-dollar sales fee on all fertilizer materials is estimated to yield about $17 million annually.
Having access to clean drinking water is a basic human right that should be guaranteed to every person in California, and it is time that we act on this issue.” According to the Appropriation Committee’s report, the target beneficiaries of these funds would be the more than 300 drinking water systems in disadvantaged communities — serving about 200,000 people — that are unable to provide safe drinking water.
At the Tuesday hearing, representatives of the Association of California Water Agencies strenuously opposed the bill.
This is a state social issue and yet local water agencies are being asked to collect money through a tax and send it to Sacramento.” The Appropriations Committee report noted that the water tax had not been included in any previous versions of the bill.
The committee may wish to consider whether there has been adequate time for the public to review the provisions of this bill,” staff wrote.