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After Drinking Water, Will California Tax Air?

Image: After Drinking Water, Will California Tax Air?
A Feb. 25, 2016 photo shows water flowing through an irrigation canal to crops near Lemoore, Calif. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

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Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 09:48 AM Current | Bio | Archive

California residents at the upper income level pay the highest state income tax in the United States. On a per capita basis, all residents pay the fourth highest amount in the nation at an average of almost $2,000 per year according to The Sacramento Bee.

California also suffers from highest in the nation sales tax at 7.25 percent that everyone, regardless of income pays.

You might say these tax collections add up, because the proposed state budget for 2017-2018 is an eye-popping $180 billion dollars. Yet with all that money sloshing around in the state’s general fund the politicians in California can’t guarantee residents baseline government services like clean, drinkable water.

One would think before spending millions on "green" energy subsidies, welfare for illegal aliens and "carbon neutral" policies the state would put a high priority on drinking water, but one would be wrong.

The Long Beach Press Telegram reports the legislature is considering a bill that would put a tax on drinking water, which means the state would be taxing residents drinking unsafe water now so they could enjoy safe drinking water in the future, presuming they are still alive to drink it. "Senate Bill 623, backed by a strange bedfellows coalition of the agricultural lobby and environmental groups but opposed by water districts, would generate $2 billion over the next 15 years to clean up contaminated groundwater and improve faulty water systems and wells," according to the Press Telegram.

The main author of this money-grab, Sen. Bill Monning — a Democrat of course, says this is “a pivotal time in our state’s history to do the right thing." This is entirely wrong and misleading. The "pivotal time" was when Sacramento politicians decided to spend money needed to keep California’s drinking water clean and pure on their own pet political projects, instead of spending the tax money on basic services expected by California taxpayers.

The tax would be collected on each monthly water bill sent by the state’s water agencies. Cindy Tuck, a spokeswoman for the Association of California Water Agencies, disagrees with the bill and contends "taxing drinking water sets a dangerous precedent and that the bill would turn them into state tax collectors. 'Water is essential to life. Should we tax drinking water? We don’t think so.'"

Sue Stephenson, with the Dublin San Ramon Services District, is much closer to my way of thinking, She believes the money already in the state’s general fund should be used for this essential service, "The whole purpose of the general fund is to help take care of disadvantaged communities. There’s no reason that they could not also fund communities that need access to drinking water."

Passing this tax increase will require votes from Republicans in the legislature, but don’t count on them to defend the taxpayer. They no doubt have pet projects they’d like to fund, too, and this extra money for water that should be already clean will free up more general fund money for frills.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

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Reagan
Passing increased taxes will require votes from Republicans in the California State Legislature. Don’t count on them to defend taxpayers. They have pet projects they’d like to fund. This extra money for water will free up more general fund money for frills.
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