California Gov. Gavin Newsom presents his first state budget during a news conference, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
In order to help disadvantaged communities obtain safe and affordable drinking water, California Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a new statewide water tax.
In the newly-released 2019-20 budget, Newsom calls for the creation of a “safe and affordable drinking water fund” that would “enable the State Water Resources Control Board to assist communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, in paying for the short-term and long-term costs of obtaining access to safe and affordable drinking water.”
A McClatchy investigation from 2018 found that 6 million Californians rely on water providers that violated state standards at some point in the last six years. According to the report, the majority of Californians that lack safe drinking water live in the Southern San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert.
The details of the proposed tax are unknown, but a similar proposal was abandoned by then-Governor Jerry Brown last year after failing to garner enough support in the legislature.
California residents would have been taxed 95 cents a month, or $11.40 a year, under that plan.
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