This morning the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association sent out the following email call to action to its members and subscribers:
The California Legislature is about to pass a new tax on drinking water: Senate Bill 845. This measure has already passed in the state Senate and could move quickly to the floor of the state Assembly.
Although tax increases require a two-thirds vote, this legislation would pass with a simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote. Why? Because of tricky language that makes the tax “voluntary.” Why is it tricky? Because every water customer will pay it unless they follow a process to opt out.
What is that process? Every community water system will have to develop its own procedures, then reprogram its billing system. There are thousands of community water systems in California and each one may do it differently. This costly burden will either be passed on to water customers or it will be deducted from the amount of money that is sent to the state for the intended purpose of cleaning up groundwater in rural areas.
This tax isn’t necessary. The Legislature had already budgeted tens of millions of dollars to pay for this cleanup, and voters already approved billions of dollars in water bonds that could be used to fund this important priority. This is just another excuse to raise taxes instead of spending existing revenue as it should be spent – to protect the health and safety of all Californians.
SB 845 is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Please call the committee members listed below and urge them to vote NO on the water tax.
President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
Assembly Appropriations Committee Members
Lorena S. Gonzalez Fletcher (Chair)
Frank Bigelow (Vice Chair)
William P. Brough
Ian C. Calderon
Susan Talamantes Eggman
Eloise Gómez Reyes