Soapbox

Don't impose water tax

Anna Marie Tomlinson of Rio Linda buys bottled drinking water for herself and her family because the water on her property was tested to have high chromium and arsenic levels.
Anna Marie Tomlinson of Rio Linda buys bottled drinking water for herself and her family because the water on her property was tested to have high chromium and arsenic levels. Sacramento Bee file

Safe and affordable drinking water is essential for all Californians, including those who live in the Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District in Sacramento County. The district has responded aggressively to hexavalent chromium in a small number of wells, dedicating more than $3.9 million.

Tim Shaw.jpg
Tim Shaw

The same dilemma is playing out in some disadvantaged and rural communities, but a bill in the Legislature that proposes a drinking water tax on residential and commercial water users is the wrong approach. A similar trailer bill is being discussed in a budget subcommittee Wednesday and Thursday.

Opinion

The state should not tax drinking water and impose an additional cost on residents, especially the poor. It would be contrary to the goal of keeping water affordable, and existing sources of funding are available, including federal safe drinking water funds, voter-approved general obligation bonds and the state’s general fund.

Rio Linda and water districts throughout the state are committed to providing access to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water. We believe we can accomplish that without imposing additional costs on the very people and businesses we serve.

Tim Shaw is the general manager of the Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District. He can be contacted at gm@rlecwd.com.
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