The Democratic governor of California is calling for a new tax on drinking water, but one resident of the Golden State says the money could easily be found in the state coffers.
The tax proposal is part of a plan from Governor Gavin Newsom to help disadvantaged communities have safe and affordable drinking water. After traveling last week with his Cabinet to the Central Valley, the governor tweeted the following:
"We met with residents who cannot drink or bathe with the water in their homes – while paying more for it than those in Beverly Hills."
"The big problem with it is that we have a $14.8 billion surplus, so there is plenty of money to come up with the $25 million they need for safe, drinking water," says Steven Greenhut, Western Region director for the R Street Institute.
"There is a drinking water in some communities in the Central Valley that have polluted wells and things like that," he continues. "So it is a legitimate problem for a portion of the population, but it's money that could be easily found in our massive budget surplus."
That, adds Greenhut, is a problem that happens a lot in Sacramento. "If it really is a priority, well, you can certainly find that kind of money in the general fund budget," he continues. "I guess we'll be taxing the air that we breathe soon."
It's not clear how much the tax would be for water.