Water Tax Enthusiasm & Control

State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, pumps his fist in celebration after his storm water bill was approved by the Assembly, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. If signed by the governor, Hertzberg’s SB231 would let local governments charge residents for storm water management systems without voter approval.

Sen. Steyer calling for SB 623, because California is have “a safe drinking water crisis”

A bill passed in the CA Assembly Thursday, August 31, 2017 would in effect tax rain.

Yup, that’s right. Rain.

The lawmakers in Sacramento have decided that local governments would be allowed to TAX (not “charge” as it claims) residents without even getting their approval for such a measure. The bill claims the exception for “sewer, rain, and refuse”, which would circumvent a 1996 law requiring Californians to approve new taxes. It’s not clear what the fiscal impact will be. My guess is it will vary from community to community.

But there’s a larger water tax & control play happening in Sacramento.

The latest Senate Bill (623) “will impose, until July 1, 2020, a safe and affordable drinking water fee in specified amounts on each customer of a public water system, to be administered by the state board, in consultation with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, in accordance with the Fee Collection Procedures Law.” What’s happening is you will have to pay into a fund for all water use: drinking water (bottled, tap), irrigation, farming, etc. This, in essence, removes local controls from the water districts and centralizes it all into a tightly controlled Board of unelected officials who will set the fees (“taxes”) and set the rules on consumption.

Kevin Perkins