Otay Water District Opposes SB 623
On Friday, Sept. 1, California’s Senate Appropriation Committee in Sacramento sent Senate Bill 623 — a bill aimed at establishing the first-ever, statewide tax on drinking water — to the Assembly Rules Committee as a two-year bill. The Assembly Rules Committee will assign the bill to the appropriate policy committee for future hearings. While this action represents a significant win, the District continues its efforts to stop SB 623’s tax on drinking water.
Thanks to extensive public investments in our water system, safe drinking water is a given for Otay customers. We are aware that for some Californians who live in rural, low-income communities, that is not the case. As a local water agency committed to a safe and reliable water supply, we support the intent of the bill in assisting disadvantaged communities that do not have access to safe drinking water. However, placing the financial burden on local water agencies across the state and to Californians, through SB 623, is not the solution and not the appropriate funding approach. SB 623 and many other legislative initiatives will only make water less affordable to many more Californians. SB 623, by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), seeks to establish a statewide tax on all residential and business water consumers’ bills in California. SB 623 is not the right solution to bring safe water to all Californians.
Although Otay does agree with the intent of the bill, the District strongly opposes the bill as written. The District is a member of the Association of California Water Agencies (AWCA), which also strongly oppose the bill’s fundamental flaws. This problem is a public health and social issue that takes focused leadership at the state level and not one to be solved by water ratepayers in Otay’s District, or elsewhere.
To learn more about the bill and what ACWA’s proposes as a solution, click here.
Letters of Opposition: