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.
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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.
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.