New Jersey Lawmaker Wants the State to Tax Tap Water

The money would go toward replacing the state's aging water system, which can lead to disasters like water main breaks (as Philly can tell you).


tap water tax

iStockphoto.com | audioundwerbung

A New Jersey lawmaker wants to tax tap water.

State Senator Bob Smith, a Democrat from Middlesex County, has introduced a bill that could leave state residents with a roughly $30 monthly bill for tap water, by his estimate.

Smith says it’s for a good cause: Under his measure, the funds would go toward replacing the state’s aging water system. That includes financing water quality, water supply, and water infrastructure projects. He points out that some water pipes in New Jersey date back to the 1800s — which can lead to a slew of issues, including water main breaks (as Philadelphia is quite familiar with).

The legislation would include a 10-cent tax on every 1,000 gallons consumed, according to 6ABC. Under the proposed bill, the money would go toward projects like: drought mitigation measures; the preservation of wetlands and watersheds; the interconnection, expansion, repair, or rehabilitation of public water systems; and lead remediation. The state could also use the funds to provide grants and loans to local governments and/or water companies for the projects, and up to one percent of the money could be used for administrative purposes connected to those undertakings.

If the idea of taxed tap water leaves you panicking, know that Smith’s bill is far from becoming law. It still has to go through a committee in the state House and Senate before it gets to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

As you might guess, though, some residents are fearful.