California Gov. Gavin Newsom Proposes Water Tax in 2019-20 Budget

Newly elected governor of California Gavin Newsom is already living up to the California stereotype of taxing everything. Earlier this week in the new 2019-20 budget his administration proposed, there was a provision which included an unspecified tax on water. Yes, drinking water is now subject to potential taxation in The Golden State.

The budget calls for a “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund,” which would be funded by taxes on “new water, fertilizer, and dairy fees” with the purpose of “[enabling] 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.” The budget fails to outline exactly how much each individual would pay or how the taxes would be levied.

Keep in mind this is the same state which both banned plastic bags in 2014, and fines restaurants $25 for providing plastic straws. California already consistently tops the list for highest tax burdens for individual states.

Newsom categorizes “access to safe and affordable drinking water is a fundamental right.” For a state which frequently designates commodities as ‘human rights,’ such as health care, it is no surprise they keep expanding the definition. Though they insist on taxing a fundamental right.

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) had this to say:

“The vast majority of the state’s residents have access to safe drinking water, but a small percentage of the population does not. 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.”

This is true. Surprisingly California has a budget surplus of over $20 billion. Funding for the program can be easily found without extra taxes on the masses.

Categories: U.S. News

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