NJ considers taxing tap water

Never short on ideas for things to tax, lawmakers in New Jersey are considering a tax on tap water.

The proposal is being floated by State Sen. Bob Smith D-Middlesex, who is trying to say it's not actually a tax but a 'user fee'.

"It is a user fee based on volume," Smith told Fox 5's Chasing New Jersey.

It would add 10 cents for every 1,000 gallons of water a home uses.  Smith says that will only add $32 a year to the "average" water bill.


He claims the money is needed to fix a crumbling water delivery infrastructure in the state.

The state already charges a public utility franchise tax on water system operators of $0.01 per 1,000 gallons of water delivered to a consumer.  That tax, which went into effect in 1984, is supposed to "ensure clean drinking water in New Jersey."

"Let's call it for what it is... it's another tax," Councilman Peter Brown D-Linden said.

Matt Rooney, who runs the conservative news website Savejersey.com said, "Once again, the most over-taxed people out of all 50 states in this country, are being asked to dig a little deeper after Phil Murphy just raised their taxes by nearly $2 billion."

One New Jersey columnist suggested the next proposed tax will be on breathing air.

As for New York, tap water is not taxed but bottled water is taxed.