Vacaville opposes state ‘water tax’ legislation

VACAVILLE — A “water tax” in a proposed state Senate bill will spur a letter from Mayor Len Augustine opposing the legislation.

The bill by State Sen. William Monning, D-Carmel, deals with paying for safe drinking water solutions for disadvantaged communities in California, said a city report.

Augustine’s draft letter, approved this week by the Vacaville City Council, says the municipality agrees with assisting such communities but that requiring local water agencies across the state to collect a new tax is not the solution.

“This is a social issue for the state,” the letter adds.

Monning’s bill would make capital costs for water system improvements an eligible funding category for drinking water solutions, the city staff report said.

The Association of California Water Agencies has informed members, including Vacaville, about the legislation. The statewide association and Vacaville have a long-standing opposition to any tax on water, according to the city.

The staff report recounts that many of the communities with impaired water rely on groundwater and are located in the Central Valley where agricultural overdraft has affected aquifers – or pesticides and fertilizers used in intensive agriculture have affected groundwater.

A spokeswoman for Monning said Friday that the state senator’s office has not received information from Vacaville about Augustine’s letter.

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