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A new water tax? California has a $21.5 billion surplus …

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Update:  “Water Tax” Stalls in the State Senate
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May budget proposal to place a tax on water to fund clean drinking water across the state failed to advance in a Senate budget

Why can’t the governor direct some of that money to clean water? Why wasn’t that done already by previous administrations? Why is it that, whenever the state misallocates our tax money, the taxpayers get hit again? The tax could cost some Californians an additional $10 a month, at a time when families statewide are struggling to pay record-high gas prices and other costs for goods just to survive. — Coupal, Chen


PE|By JON COUPAL and PHILLIP CHEN |

California has a record $21.5 billion surplus.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that we have all that money because you are being overtaxed.

Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal, the largest in California history.

At a staggering $214 billion dollars, the budget is larger than that of most nations and every other state.

The budget also includes a new $140 million tax on water customers to help all Californians have access to clean water.

Clean water is important, and there are a million people in the Central Valley without access to it. But do we need a new tax to pay for it?  Maybe we don’t.

Just last week, a state Senate budget subcommittee eliminated Gov. Newsom’s recommendation for a water tax and replaced it with a $150 million continuous appropriation from the General Fund.

This ensures reliable funding for years to come without increasing taxes. Obviously, we will be watching carefully to ensure that these dollars are in the state budget expected to be signed into law next month.

A General Fund solution makes sense, especially considering that the state surplus is 1,529 times what is needed to cover the costs to ensure everyone has access to clean water.  But even if this proposal doesn’t make the final budget, there are other alternative sources of revenue.

Extended article, continued...

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Jon Coupal is the president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Phillip Chen, R-Brea, represents the 55th District in the California State Assembly.

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