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California Governor Gavin Newsom Now Wants to Tax Drinking Water
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California Governor Gavin Newsom Now Wants to Tax Drinking Water

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Not that long ago, we wrote about the California Public Utilities Commission’s proposal on taxing text messages, and thank Heaven it’s been withdrawn. Californians are not out of the woods yet, though, as  California’s new governor Gavin Newsom came up with a new controversial proposal. Drink your fill, Golden State, because pretty soon drinking water may become taxable.

The state of California is about to take a step closer to Communism with the newly elected Socialist. Governor Gavin Newsom proposed his first budget for the state on Friday, and it includes a new statewide tax on drinking water. Newsom claims this is “socially responsible” and will help provide clean drinking water to all in the state.

He announced the idea after his trip to Central Valley:

He took members of his cabinet to the Central Valley to talk with residents who he says lack clean drinking water. That was caused by moves by the EPA and politicians in California by the way. “Our first stop: we met with residents who cannot drink or bathe with the water in their homes — while paying more for it than those in Beverly Hills.,” Newsom wrote on Twitter.

Newsom’s proposed 2019-20 budget includes the creation of a “safe and affordable drinking water fund,” to “enable the State Water Resources Control Board to assist communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, in paying for the short-term and long-term costs of obtaining access to safe and affordable drinking water,” according to the San Francisco Gate.

Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund—Establish a new special fund, with a dedicated funding source from new water, fertilizer, and dairy fees, to enable the State Water Resources Control Board to assist communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, in paying for the short-term and long-term costs of obtaining access to safe and affordable drinking water.

This proposal is consistent with the policy framework of SB 623, introduced in the 2017-18 legislative session.

The Budget also includes $4.9 million General Fund on a one-time basis for the State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Food and Agriculture to take initial steps toward implementation of this new Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Program, including (1) implementation of fee collection systems, (2) adoption of an annual implementation plan, and (3) development of a map of high-risk aquifers used as drinking water sources.

The budget, entitled “California for All,” declares drinking water a “fundamental right,” and adds: “The Budget includes short-term measures to bring immediate relief to communities without safe drinking water and also proposes an ongoing sustainable funding source to address this problem into the future.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom presents his first state budget during a news conference, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. / Rich Pedroncelli

The Legislature scrapped the idea after protests from some segments of the agricultural community and the Association of California Water Agencies, which represents more than 400 water districts. Even they slapped back over the proposed water tax. In a statement, the association said it would be “highly problematic” and not necessary due to what it calls the state’s ample budget surplus.

“The vast majority of the state’s residents have access to safe drinking water, but a small percentage of the population does not,” the association stated. “This unacceptable reality is a social issue for the State of California. ACWA believes that making access to safe drinking water for all Californians should be a top priority for the State. However, a statewide water tax is highly problematic and is not necessary when alternative funding solutions exist and the state has a huge budget surplus.”

Cindy Tuck, a deputy executive director at the water agency association, said her group still has major concerns about the proposal.

“We think the problem can be solved without a tax,” she said.

Republican Travis Allen, who ran for governor against Newsom also blasted the idea,

The San Francisco Chronicle notes: “The details of the proposed tax are unknown, but a similar proposal was abandoned by then-Governor Jerry Brown last year after failing to garner enough support in the legislature.”

Author: USA Really