Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) criticized a Democrat proposal for a new water tax that would be imposed on all New Jersey residents, allegedly only to pay for purchasing land that will be kept undeveloped:
“We should not be overtaxing something as basic and vital as water,” Bateman said. “Higher water taxes should be imposed only when necessary to ensure a safe and abundant water supply.
“Raising taxes of any kind should be an absolute last resort, and we are not in desperate need of extra funds for open space. There is plenty of bloated spending in a $33 billion budget that could be redirected to finance $150 million in open space purchases.
A Democratic lawmaker, is pitching a plan that would charge 40 cents per 1, 000 gallons of water. The tax would raise $150 million a year for open space preservation, though the money could be directed to anywhere in the budget. Environmentalists estimate it would cost the average household $32 a year.
“Paying a tax every time you water your lawn, take a shower or get a drink of water will hurt all of us, especially families and seniors who already on tight budgets as recession looms, ” Bateman continued. “New Jersey residents are saddled with the highest property taxes in the nation, and there is no need to add to the tax burden.”
Governor Corzine said yesterday he expects to wait until fall to propose a money-raising scheme to finance preservation of open space, farmland and historic sites.