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CA lawmakers pass bill to tax storm water

Credit: Getty Images

Our water bills might go up yet again thanks to the California Legislature. Last week the state Assembly approved a measure that would let local governments charge residents for storm water management systems without voter approval.

SB 231 comes from Democratic Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who says that bill will help cities and counties prevent flooding and save water.

We say it violates our right to vote on taxes. Under California law, local fees and taxes are subject to voter approval, but charges relating to "sewer, water, and refuse collection services" are exempt.

So your city could charge you more for sewage treatment plants without your say.

Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, commented on Hertzberg's bill:

"It's a direct contravention to Proposition 218, the right to vote on taxes. It would deprive California voters and property owners of the ability to have a say (on) storm water runoff fees."

The bill just barely passed the Assembly with the minimum 41 votes it needed. The Associated Press reported that Sen. Hertzberg rushed around the Assembly floor persuading hesitant members to vote for his bill.

Click here for more at the SF Gate.

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