Legislature Wants to Tax Drinking Water for First Time in History

Drinking waterThe California Legislature is moving for the first time in history to tax every residence and business about a dollar a month for drinking water to generate $2 billion over the next 15 years to supposedly clean up contaminated ground water.

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Although Senate Bill 623 is titled: “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund,” a coalition of agricultural and environmental lobbyists convinced its author Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) to amend the ground water cleanup bill that has been moving through the Legislature since February, to quietly add a water tax of 95 cents per month on every residence and business. The bill would also tack on $30 million in farm and dairy fees.

The European Union first promoted an environmental tax on water under the cover of the imminent global warming crisis. But the 28 nations of the EU have expanded their water taxation regime to include a tap water tax; a value added tax on all water purchases; a provincial groundwater tax; and a tax for installations on public land or water.

A similar environmental tax was proposed as SB-20 in 2015 at the end of California’s 5-year drought by California Senator Fran Pavley (D-Conejo Valley), author of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 that created the cap and trade tax tsunami.

But her water tax effort ran into blistering opposition from California’s 317 water districts and agencies that complained it was an effort to use the drought crisis as justification “to fund another layer of administration in Sacramento.” The effort failed when it did not get any Republican crossover support for the 2/3 constitutional requirement to pass a tax.

California has never taxed drinking water, which has always been exempt as an essential “food product” by the California State Board of Equalization under Regulation 1602. Other tax-exempt liquid food products included non-carbonated fruit and vegetable juices. The tax-exemption was expanded in 1981 to include bottled water.

The main reason that the Legislature had avoided taxing water is the long and bloody California history of water wars that date back to the 1849 gold rush. Mark Twain famously commented that in California: “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.”

But in an unprecedented turn, the powerful Western Growers that represent large farmers in California, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico released a statement supporting SB-623 to provide clean drinking water to disadvantaged communities that cannot afford clean drinking water. The growers acknowledged the challenges of agriculture relying on nitrogen-rich and its runoff impact on water quality.

The Western Growers in a landmark statement added, “working with the environmental justice community, as well as other stakeholders, for over a year in an effort to address the critical needs in disadvantaged communities relating to safe drinking water. Since these challenges are numerous, both from naturally occurring contaminants and human sources, we believe the solution should be shouldered by a broad array of stakeholders.”

inancial writer and speaker, and author of the book, “The Third Way”

This piece was originally published at Breitbart/California.


  1. Bernie Reis says

    These bozo’s want to tax EVERYTHING. Like the movie, Cabaret, Money, money makes the world go round. We have our own water supply, not contaminated yet by the corrupt political mafia in Sacramento. These idiots will never, ever, ever have enough money because of social programs, legal fees, payoffs, bribes and the bigger, PENSIONS! Double tax us for roads, working to increase property tax, double tax car registration, and now water, Charge Southern California for the water they take from Northern California.

  2. Sounds like another BS plan from the Champion BS’ers.

  3. retiredxlr8r says

    So, how’s all your freedoms holding these days in California?
    Might just as well get ready for those bread and soup lines, they are coming!
    What’s next after water? The air we breath?
    You will be signing over your home, business, investments, retirement, anything of cash value they are coming after.
    Gov. Brown and his Brown Shirt legislature are bent on turning California into a third world nation.
    Their incompetence shows up in every bill they propose and every regulation they write.
    Can you say Venezuela?
    Show me one Democratic state assemblyman or senator that is worth his salt about, here we go, serving the citizens of California. You can’t because none exists, they serve themselves!
    For the past dozen years everything they have done has been illogical and downright stupid!
    Debt, welfare and entitlements, taxes, regulations, incompetent government, and we get to pay for it all with our hard earned money and these idiots can’t seem to spend it fast enough!

  4. This is nothing more then GARBAGE politicians in California wanting to tax us more because all the tax money now is going to protecting their Illegal mexican scum voting base. The gas tax will be appealed and the recall of Newson will be successful and this is just the beginning of the end of the Socialist communist Democrates in California…

  5. Bruce Frank says

    Free drinking water is a right not a privilege! We shouldn’t even have to pay a water bill, much less a tax. After all, when one turns on the tap to fill a glass, it is due to a preexisting and chronic condition called “thirst!” It is time for U.S. Senator Kamala Harris to endorse a bill to make water free to everyone, regardless of their economic or social status.

  6. THE CAPTIVE says

    Our drinking water is already taxed —we get a WATER and Garbage bill each month and it goes higher if we use more water. NOTHING IS FREE in the state of CA —Water costs and we are paying for it already –It is just not taxed so each and every lib-LEFT can get his hand in the pot and now this is what is in the cards. Vote the bastards out the crooks working for Jerry Brown-shirt -or is it s-it ?

  7. I’m out of this state by 2018. moving out of this fked up liberal state

  8. Brenda Torres says

    SHHHHH….Don’t give them any more ideas, next they will be hanging a meter around our neck’s and charge us for every breath we take!!!

  9. Rottweiler says

    It is a sure bet that the tax would never be used for any purpose other than a Democrat’s political war chest for the next upcoming presidential election. Simple as that.

  10. Bogiewheel says


  11. Bogiewheel says

    I appears that someone in Sacramento whispered ‘Veolia Water’ and now the race is on. It also appears that big agr seems to get a large slice of the pie.

  12. If the large growers are so concerned about their runoff polluting, why aren’t they switching to organic crops?

  13. We only have one choice
    Elect Laura Smith as Governor
    and remover brown

  14. Michael Mora says

    We Californians , better wake up , and realize unfortunately this Democratic administration is killing this state , with all it’s knucklehead ideas, Sanctuary cities, Sanctuary state, increase gas tax, and now a political influenced, agriculture ,and environmentalist lobbyist . I can go on , but my point is we live in a state that is rated number six in the world economy’s , let’s not fool ourselves we live in a beautiful state, mountains, oceans deserts . If we keep allowing these liberal Democrats to destroy our state it will implode .

  15. Oh Rats! Somebody probably leaked the information to the Demi-krat politicos that Fish Pee in the Sacramento River near the inlets.

    Most of them doubtless freaked out at the notion; except of course for Senator Weiner (D-SF) and his Folsom street bondage & buggery bear posse, who probably like the sensation.

  16. We pay them a salary to sit around and think up new ways for them to come up with new taxes and ways to squeeze another dime out of us. We
    When is enough going to be enough? This is what they do! Democrats Tax and spend. Vote them ll out.

  17. Gov Brown and the Dems in CA all need to get deported with all the illegals they support and protect there

  18. I’m beginning to think that the majority of Californian voters are just plain stupid. With SB 231 passing costs for everyone will be going up.. JUST KEEP VOTING DEMOCRAT and you’ll be living in a cardboard box near the tracks.

  19. They should be chained together and thrown off the top of Shasta Dam……
    you can pick which side.

  20. I’m with retiredxlr8r’s hypothesis…
    We moved because I fear that they will tax any investment holdings or impose a CalExit tax if you sell your home for a profit and move out of state…
    These people are Communists, who do not respect private ownership and want to redistribute wealth to keep their stranglehold on power…
    And yet the wealthy technorati and Hollywood set continue to virtue signal by voting Democratic….
    We bailed three months ago, and while I miss my home state, I feel safer that my assets are not at risk of confiscation by the Hispanderers…

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