Greedy Lawmakers Now Pushing Tax on Most Basic Human Necessity—Tap Water
As residents in New Jersey prepare to pay for the latest budget increase passed by their state legislature—which will cost a whopping $37.4 billion—one state lawmaker is openly proposing a tax on one of the most basic resources that every individual uses on a daily basis: tap water.
Democratic State Senator Bob Smith is pushing for the tax, which he refers to as a “user fee” that will be forced upon residents based on how much tap water they use. He claimed that the goal for the tax would be to prevent conditions from resulting in rampant lead contamination as has been seen in Flint, Michigan, over the last 4 years.
“There have been some studies done on the water supply in the school system and in some urban and suburban areas and it appears that the more than 100-year-old water infrastructure is starting to fall apart and it’s starting to leach serious contaminants into the water like lead, and it’s similar to the Flint, Michigan, problem,” Smith told Fox 5.
Smith is proposing a 10-cent tax on every 1,000 gallons of water a home uses, which he claims will cost families an “average of $32” each year. The state senator has proposed a concurrent resolution that would include taxes on tap water and taxes on water diversion.
“The water consumption user fee would be charged to water customers based on the amount of water they consume,” the resolution states. “The water diversion user fee would be charged to any person required to obtain a permit from the State to divert water and be based on the amount of water diverted. Both fees would be imposed under a separate act of the Legislature.”
While Smith makes it sound as though the fight to keep tap water free from lead contamination is a new battle, the report from Fox 5 noted that “the state already charges a public utility franchise tax on water system operators of $0.01 per 1,000 gallons of water delivered to a consumer.” The current tax has been in place since 1984, and it was sold with the promise that it would “ensure clean drinking water in New Jersey.”