NEW JERSEY – State Senator Bob Smith, D-Middlesex, is proposing a tax on tap water to enhance the state’s water quality, supply, and infrastructure projects.
He introduced legislation that would impose a 10-cent tax on every 1,000 gallons consumed, which Smith estimates would cost the average New Jersey household about $32 a year and would net the state about $150 million annually.
Smith said that much of the state’s drinking water infrastructure has aged past its useful life and is in dire need of repair and replacement.
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.
Smith is calling this a “user fee” instead of tax since it would charge water customers for how much water that they use.
The bill still has to go through a committee in the state Senate and Assembly before it reaches Governor Murphy’s desk.