MIDDLESEX, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey residents could possibly face a tax on their tap water. State Sen. Bob Smith is proposing a tax on tap water to enhance the state’s water quality, supply, and infrastructure projects.
The senator is also proposing a water diversion fee as well for any person that is required to get a permit from the state to divert water.
“The Legislature further finds and declares that much of the State’s drinking water infrastructure has aged past its useful life and is in dire need of repair and replacement,” Smith asserted in the proposed bill.
He also cited costly emergency repairs due to water main breaks, lead in drinking water infrastructure impeding the health of citizens, especially pregnant women and children, and current state and local funding being insufficient as means to necessitate this bill.
According to the proposal submitted on June 27, this would take effect each fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2019.
Smith is calling this a “user fee” instead of tax since it would charge water customers for how much water that they use.
This proposal is an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution.
The particular article Smith seeks to amend covers all taxation and finance.
The bill still has to go through a committee in either the state Senate or Assembly before it makes its way to the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy.