California Governor Gavin Newsom certainly has been busy since assuming office Jan 7th.

Within hours of becoming the state’s Chief Executive, the highly progressive former mayor of the disease-ridden city of San Francisco proposed offering free healthcare benefits to illegal immigrants under the age of 26.
Now, Newsom is proposing to tax drinking water.

In what is sure to be a controversial move, Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed a tax on drinking water to help poor communities in California deal with contaminated water systems.

The plan to establish a ‘safe and affordable drinking water fund” is part of Newsom’s budget proposal, according the Sacramento Bee. A similar idea was proposed last year, but it never made it through the Legislature, the Bee reported.

Newsom wants to spend $25 million for safe drinking water as part of the cleanup effort. The exact details of the tax to raise the funds were not known.

As a California resident, basic public health services like safe drinking water should already be taken care of by a combination of water fees and state taxes. My small family pays over $100 monthly for our water use, and California state taxes are the highest in the nation. Where exactly is this money going if it is not going to pay for necessities such as drinking water?

State bureaucrats have been notoriously neglectful of our water infrastructure. Legal Insurrection readers may recall that it was 2 years ago that an emergency was declared when the Oroville Dam looked like it might fail. Work continues of the spillway today.

Perhaps instead of taxing citizens more, Newsom can take some of the $144 billion budget surplus he says we have and redirect it to getting drinking water to under-served communities by enhancing our water processing and storage facilities?

Additionally, the green justice bureaucrats have redirected vital water resources to bait fish. The battle for water has made unlikely allies of San Francisco residents and conservative farmers in Northern California.

The liberal city of San Francisco and conservative farmers in the San Joaquin Valley don’t have much in common politically. But they do agree on one thing: California regulators are going to take too much of their water and give it to endangered fish.

On Thursday, San Francisco joined a cadre of irrigation districts that pull water from the tributaries that flow into the Lower San Joaquin River in filing a lawsuit against a plan by the State Water Resources Control Board to take billions of gallons of their water.

Last month, the water board voted 4-1 to go ahead with a proposal that would require that the “unimpaired flows” of the lower San Joaquin River and its tributaries increase substantially. The board shelved, for the time being, an alternative plan proposed by San Francisco and the irrigation districts that would surrender less water while making investments in spawning grounds and other habitats to help Chinook salmon and other fish populations improve.

Interestingly, not every state agency is rushing to embrace this new tax.

The Association of California Water Agencies weighed in, unsure of the water tax. “ACWA believes that making access to safe drinking water for all Californians should be a top priority for the State,” said Association of California Water Agencies Deputy Executive Director Cindy Tuck. “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.”

Tuck said the ACWA prefers to work with Gov. Newsom, the Legislature and other stakeholders on a solution that does not impose a statewide water tax.

During his inaugural address, Newsom decried Trump’s border wall, saying it “should never be built.” However, there are many state projects that are far more wasteful than the wall – including the high-speed train to nowhere (which really should never have been started). Maybe Newsom can end this fiscal fiasco and redirect the funds to water infrastructure projects?

Perhaps getting the boot of green government off the necks of thirsty citizens would be a better approach than new taxes.

Where will this taxing madness end?


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