Zone 7 directors oppose governor's plan to tax drinking water

Board instead stands behind Senate Bill 669 to form Safe Drinking Water Trust

Taking a stand against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed statewide drinking water tax, the Zone 7 Board of Directors unanimously voted to officially oppose the proposal at its regular meeting on Wednesday.

Director Dick Quigley stated that “taxing water sets a terrible precedent” that would burden disadvantaged communities and increase retailer costs.

Nearly 800,000 Californians lack access to safe and reliable drinking water, according to the State Water Resources Control Board, which has also identified 329 systems throughout the state that either serve contaminated drinking water or cannot provide reliable service due to inadequate infrastructure or because they lack the necessary resources to do so.

During his first few days in office, Newsom proposed a statewide tax on drinking water that would raise approximately $140 million annually to fund solutions for those communities. Revenue would be collected on drinking water for residential, business, industrial and institutional customers, and range from 95 cents to $10 a month, depending on meter size. Fees charged to dairy producers and feedlot operators would generate the remaining $30 million.

The Zone 7 board called it “unthinkable” that some California residents lack access to clean and safe drinking water, but said a drinking water tax would be “regressive” and not the right solution.

Instead, all of the agency's directors have unanimously thrown their support behind Senate Bill 669, which would create a Safe Drinking Water Trust to help those same communities. The trust would be formed within the State Treasury and paid by general fund dollars while the state is in a budget surplus. The principal would be invested and net income from the Trust would be transferred to a Safe Water Drinking Fund overseen by the state water board.

In a statement, Zone 7 said “this proposal would create a durable funding source for costs associated with operation and maintenance and consolidation efforts and would complement existing federal and state funding sources for capital costs.”

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11 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 21, 2019 at 6:26 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Zone Seven Water is not suitable for drinking, Zone Seven Water is not suitable for cooking. How can he call it drinking water, how can he tax it?

Zone Seven Water is suitable for flushing the toilets and Zone Seven Water is suitable for washing cloths and suitable for irrigation, period!

3 people like this
Posted by tim
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 21, 2019 at 6:41 pm

an alameda county public servant who does not like a new tax??? who would of thunk it!

3 people like this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 21, 2019 at 7:35 pm

I'm generally against a tax on water too for the regressive aspect of it, but I'd like to hear something more concrete from Zone 7 than "give us your general surplus" because there's education, transportation, water and housing all fighting over those funds.

7 people like this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 21, 2019 at 7:38 pm

And on that note,

"paid by general fund dollars while the state is in a budget surplus"
"this proposal would create a durable funding source"

Err that's some doublespeak.

2 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 25, 2019 at 10:29 am

I'll pay if I no longer need to water soften.. if I have no spots on my cars and shower doors sign me up.. otherwise take a hike

5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 25, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Before anybody imposes a tax on Pleasanton water they should be made to drink it. It is undrinkable! This is the only place I've ever lived that you couldn't pay me to drink the water. It smells horrendous coming out of the pipes, tastes horrible and corrodes pipes without a water softener. We already pay a lot of money for our water - much more than we should. Come have a free taste Governor!!!

7 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 25, 2019 at 4:15 pm

We need to impose a 2x tax on the campaign funds for every tax a politician brings to the table.

5 people like this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 25, 2019 at 9:23 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

You all put this man in office and now you are gonna see just how crazy he is. Elections do have consequences. Jerry Brown looks like a conservative compared to newscum.

6 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 25, 2019 at 10:25 pm

Funny how we point to trumps lack of character for cheating on his wife with a pornstar, but we blindly accept leadership from a guy that slept with his campaign managers wife.....oh, and a 19yr old. I mean he technically didn’t break the law.....

5 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 28, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Ex gov. “Moonbeam” is starting to look a little less looney compared to this “nut”. Been here my whole life and have never been able to drink the water without filtering first, should I be getting some kind of a refund??
Where is all the water going to come from for all the new housing the city planners are slipping by us, and it certainly isn’t affordable housing being built!

1 person likes this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 28, 2019 at 2:03 pm

For the record I have been drinking Zone 7 water unfiltered for 2 years now... It's totally fine.

Residential water use is 10% of the state's water use, and half of THAT is landscaping. Residential water use is a poor argument against new housing. New housing is never affordable, but it keeps rich people from bidding up the remaining housing, so it has a benefit.

4 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 30, 2019 at 5:59 pm

With all this new housing being built I can’t wait till the next drought and we get our water allotment cut maybe 20-25%, our water bills get increased again and zone 7 tries to sell us on recycled sewage water as the clean safe water of the future, wake up all you lovers of small towns turned into big cities the only winners here are the investors, developers, realtors and the city council.
Still haven’t seen my water bill go down after the last drought ended???

2 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Beratlis Place
on May 7, 2019 at 6:36 am

If healthcare is a right and should be free if college is a right and should be free why do we have to pay for water the most basic fundamental needs of humans
Water should be free it's a right to have water

2 people like this
Posted by my dogs won't drink it
a resident of Country Fair
on May 7, 2019 at 9:00 am

Just to be clear - this tax def should not apply to zone 7 water, as like other's said, it is not suitable for drinking. My dogs will drink out of the nastiest looking creeks, puddles; they eat dry kibble, no table food, but won't touch the tap water, unless they are desperate. I just tried one day giving them the water I drink (bottled) - oh my, they only drink from that bowl now. There is definitely a palatability problem with Ptown tap water, not to mention it's bad effects on pipes, cars, shower doors, etc. If I wasn't planning to move, I'd def invest in a softener going forward, but seriously - for the price, we are not getting what we pay for.

1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 7, 2019 at 10:01 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Wow - had the exact same comment.

Apparently the only rational / consistency in the logic for "fundamental rights" is that if you can't afford them, they must be subsidized for you by those that can afford to pay for them.

In essence, this redefinition of rights are not based on human needs/fundamentals, they're based on social economic status and the ability to access them. The higher in status; the less the fundamental "right" is. The lower in social economic status the higher the "right" is.

Human rights can't be defined by personal economics. They should stand alone; and government should ensure access for all to those through policy, regulation, etc. Our problem today is government's ability to scope creep by redefining what is inclusive in those rights and apparently altering the definition of what "access to them" is.

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