California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a $140 million water tax for his state in an effort to repair hundreds of failing drinking water systems.
According to the New York Times, the tax, which officials call a “fee,” would bring in $110 million from water utilities and about $30 million from the agriculture industry. The governor also intends to allocate $168 million toward water infrastructure improvements, which is already paid for by a bond proposition passed last year.
While activists support the proposal, critics argue that the cost of living in California is already much higher than average and further taxing could make it cost-prohibitive.
There may not be a great argument against this tax, however. According to PolitiFact.com, more than 1 million Californians — at minimum — do not have access to clean drinking water.
Newsom must sign the state’s final budget by July 1.