NJAA Continues Opposition to “Water Tax”

Proposed legislation to institute a new tax on drinking water in NJ – and result in an estimated $9 million tab for multi-family real estate and our residents – has been introduced in NJ State Senate. The bill, S-813, sponsored by Senator Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), calls for creation of a $0.40 per 1,000 gallon tax on water consumption., and was the subject of two hearings before the Senate Environment & Energy Committee on January 14 and February 4, 2013.

Testimony at both Committee hearings was taken from environmental, open space, land use, stewardship, historical preservation, business, and utility stakeholders.  

NJAA's written testimony commented, “A tax on drinking water – levied on a necessary and vital element of daily life, and placing an additional economic burden on millions of New Jersey families – is unwise public policy in these challenging economic times. The NJAA – and our members across the state who provide quality, safe, clean, affordable rental housing to thousands of working families – share your love and zeal for protection and preservation of our open spaces, but we must respectfully disagree with your policy solution of a tax that will drive up water costs for our businesses and our residents.”

Committee Chairman Smith – the bill’s primary sponsor – expressed urgency in identifying a new, stable, long-term funding source for open space preservation, land stewardship initiatives, and floodplain/Blue Acres acquisition. The Chairman also expressed hope that the issue would be addressed during the gubernatorial campaigns this year and pledged to bring the issue up again in Committee later this winter.

Click here for a full copy of NJAA’s testimony submitted at the February 4th Committee hearing.