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CA Legislature Nixes Newsom’s Proposed Water Tax

Sacramento, CA — Governor Gavin Newsom had proposed a new tax on residential water bills, but it was rejected by Democratic California Senate leaders.

We reported earlier that the tax would range from 95-cents to $10 per month, depending on various factors.  Instead, the Associated Press reports that the Senate is moving forward with an alternative plan that would earmark $150 million of existing taxpayer money for water improvements. It is a similar amount that the tax was expected to generate in a year’s time. The funds would be used for testing wells, treating contaminated water and improving public water systems.

Newsom’s proposed new tax would have required a 2/3 majority vote of the legislature to pass. Many taxpayer groups expressed strong opposition, noting that taxes are already high in the state. Clean water activists meanwhile argued that the tax would have created an ongoing revenue stream for the state to make needed infrastructure improvements.