National Business

California Senate rejects governor’s proposed water tax

FILE - In this April 6, 2016, file photo tape covers the spout and a sign warns students not to use this water fountain at Foothill Intermediate School in Loma Rica, Calif. Many public water systems in California serving schools, parks, prisons and neighborhoods have found lead at levels unsafe for drinking. The California Senate has rejected on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, a new tax proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on most residential water bills, opting instead to use existing tax dollars to improve drinking water in some of the state’s poorest areas.
FILE - In this April 6, 2016, file photo tape covers the spout and a sign warns students not to use this water fountain at Foothill Intermediate School in Loma Rica, Calif. Many public water systems in California serving schools, parks, prisons and neighborhoods have found lead at levels unsafe for drinking. The California Senate has rejected on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, a new tax proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on most residential water bills, opting instead to use existing tax dollars to improve drinking water in some of the state’s poorest areas. AP Photo

The California Senate has rejected a new tax on most residential water bills, opting instead to use existing tax dollars to improve drinking water in some of the state's poorest areas.

State officials say in 2017, more than 450 public water systems did not comply with safety standards, affecting more than half a million people.

This year, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a 95-cent tax on most residential water bills. He wants to use the money to improve the drinking water systems.

Senate leaders rejected that proposal on Wednesday. Instead, they endorsed a plan that would use $150 million of existing taxpayer dollars to make the improvements.

The tax proposal is still alive in the state Assembly.

A spokesman for Newsom said the governor supports a permanent and sustained funding source.

  Comments