Water Tax Bill Moves to Appropriations Suspense Calendar by Heather Engel May 8, 2019 Water News The Assembly Appropriations Committee today moved AB 217 (E. Garcia), which proposed a water tax on public water systems, to the Suspense Calendar. The author waived presentation so there was no public testimony on the bill. AB 217 proposes a water tax equivalent to 50-cents per connection per month, which would be passed along to public water agency customers. It is one of two proposals for a statewide water tax, along with the Newsom Administration’s budget trailer bill. “The state can solve the funding gap for drinking water solutions in disadvantaged communities without a water tax,” said ACWA Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations Cindy Tuck. “With a record budget surplus for the 2019-’20 fiscal year, it is the perfect time to create and fund a Safe Drinking Water Trust as a durable funding solution.” SB 669 (Caballero), the Safe Drinking Water Trust bill sponsored by ACWA and the California Municipal Utilities Association, would be funded with an infusion of General Fund dollars during a budget surplus year. The state would invest the principal, and the net income would provide the needed ongoing revenue stream for drinking water solutions in disadvantaged communities. ACWA and a large coalition of supporters believe the Trust is a better approach than a statewide water tax that would tax a resource that is essential to life and work against water affordability throughout the state. SB 669 passed two Senate policy committees in April and is pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee. It is expected to be heard by Appropriations on May 13. For questions about the proposals for a statewide water tax or ACWA/CMUA-sponsored SB 669, please contact ACWA Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations Cindy Tuck at email@example.com or (916) 441-4545.