Gov. Newsom Pushing For New Taxes on Water and Phones

Water Drought SprinklerGov. Gavin Newsom’s has called for a first-ever water tax and an added fee on phone bills at a time when the state is enjoying what recently departed state Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor called “extraordinary” budget health. Newsom said last week that experts now forecast a $21.5 billion budget windfall in 2019-20. Until recent years, the optics of asking the public to pay more with an overflowing budget would have seemed impossible to overcome.

Specific details have not yet emerged on Newsom’s plan, but it’s expected to be similar to a rejected 2018 proposal from state Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, to tax residential customers 95 cents a month to help fund water improvements in rural farming communities in the Central Valley and throughout the state.

It would raise about $110 million to get clean water to what the McClatchy News Service estimated last year to be 360,000 people without such access. Others looking at the problem see it as much worse. Newsom said 1 million residents face health risks from their own water supplies.

Newsom emphasized what a priority the water tax would be for him on Friday by taking his cabinet on a “surprise” tour of affected Central Valley communities.

The dairy industry would also face $30 million in new fees. The $140 million annually that Newsom hopes to get from his plan is dwarfed by money already available from a $7.5 billion 2014 state water bond. While the largest chunk of the bond – $2.7 billion – was reserved for water storage projects, one of its listed priorities for the remaining $4.8 billion was providing access to clean water.

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President Jon Coupal saw Newsom’s water tax plan as part of a historical continuum. He told the Sacramento Bee it was only the latest example “of California’s knee-jerk reaction to default to a new tax whenever there’s a new problem.”

But Newsom depicted his 2019-20 budget as reflecting discipline, touting its emphasis on continuing to add to the state’s rainy day fund and because of commitments to prepay some of CalPERS’ and CalSTRS’ unfunded long-term liabilities. Finance officials say every $1 billion prepaid now saves more than $2 billion in the long haul.

Governor cites urgent need to upgrade 911 system

Newsom also confirmed that he wants to add a 20- to 80-cent fee on monthly cellphone and landline bills to upgrade the 911 emergency notification system. That would take a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.

A similar proposal died late in the legislative session amid fears that it was a regressive tax that could cause headaches for incumbents on the November ballot.

But Newsom depicts the fee as a vital part of upgrading a 911 system that has outdated technology and is not up to the challenge of keeping safe a state facing devastating wildfires on a yearly basis.

The 911 fee was part of a larger wildfire-response program Newsom announced last week in the aftermath of last fall’s Camp fire in Butte County that killed at least 86 people and destroyed about 14,000 homes and the Woolsey Fire in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties that caused three deaths and torched 1,500 homes.

The governor wants to add $105 million to the $200 million already earmarked for improved wildfire response efforts in fiscal 2019-20. The extra money would be used to boost forest clearing efforts, to expand emergency fire rescue crews and more.

This article was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Comments

  1. It’s time to start organizing the “Gray Davis II” recall efforts on pretty boy Newsom…
    He’s already proving himself to be in WAY over his head and a threat to the economic well-being of California…
    What’s next? Taxing the air we breathe???
    What a tool…

  2. Audit the State of
    CA where does all the tax money go ?

    • The money goes to illegals.

      • Yep, this damn state takes our tax money for illegals. Mexico needs to take care of their people.
        Thats right, they don’t care !

        • UpChuckLiberals says

          Mexico ‘says’ they’re trying to stop the caravans, BULL PUCKY. They could turn them back in a heart beat. We need to tax all remittences to Mexico at 85% and stop ALL aid until they get the message.

  3. “tax residential customers 95 cents a month to help fund water improvements in rural farming communities in the Central Valley and throughout the state” why doesn’t he just give them the water and forget the smelt. can’t eat ’em anyway

  4. First it was a finger, then the hand, next the arm and then the whole system collapsed. Newsom is becoming the political undertaker of this
    State; He will be our first funerary governor.

  5. The same voters who support Nancy Pelosi are supporting her nephew Gavin Newsom. So grab your ankles Californians, it’s almost over.

  6. Yup, “Gruesome Newsom” is already living up to Dem Moniker TAX & SPEND BS right out of the hole……….. This is pure CRAP! In reality, the state should have started building more water storage facilities long ago, but as we all know, Dems are beholden to Greenies………….. We are going down the toilet/road of Illinois for sure……………… RECALL? And all of this after the GASTAX & DMV Rip Off of California Taxpayers! What”s next? Tax on blood? For what CaliExpat said, they already tax the air……….. It is called CARB!

  7. No new taxes. We pay enough taxes. how about giving yourself and state workers, a pay cut?

  8. Just keeps getting worse for Californians everyday!! Recall this Governor.

  9. I must say I pretty much agree with every post I have read. Recall, recall, RECALL!!!!

  10. Angry in Cali says

    Hate this guy. He is going to kill the dairy industry in California. Milk is going to get a whole lot more expensive. And their reasons are completely ignorant….

  11. Angry in Cali says

    Recall Newsome

  12. Well, they always said that “whisky’s for drinkin’, and water’s for fightin’ over”, and with this Gavin has really kicked that hornet’s nest.

  13. Travis Allen has just become Chairman of the Republican Party in Cal.
    He is working on his Take Back California program.
    Bill Barr will be a great law and order Fed. Attorney General.
    Judicial Watch is working on many things simultaneously to wake and shake the low information voters.
    Things are looking up.

  14. Jerry must have forgotten one of the pencils when he left, I hope it was the one with the eraser. Jerry did leave didn’t he?

  15. Tax Tax Tax…. That is all they do to us! I wish I could get out of this state. We are actually one of the few that can call themselves native Californians. We got our land before California was a state and I can’t believe what the people in LA, SF and Sacramento are doing to the rest of us!

  16. UpChuckLiberals says

    Just a reminder, the CEO of Nestle’s said that people do not have a right to water. But the state sure as heck seems to have a ‘right’ to our money.

  17. UpChuckLiberals says

    “It would raise about $110 million to get clean water to what the McClatchy News Service estimated last year to be 360,000 people without such access. Others looking at the problem see it as much worse. Newsom said 1 million residents face health risks from their own water supplies.” So in other words about the number of ILLEGALS in this state with more pouring in every day.

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