New Jersey residents could soon be hit with what Republicans are calling a “rain tax,” if Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signs newly passed legislation.
The bill, approved by the New Jersey Assembly and the Senate, would allow municipalities to create utilities that can collect fees from homeowners and business owners that have large paved surfaces, like driveways and parking lots. During storms, rainwater mixes with pollutants on those surfaces before running into sewers and drains. The funding from the fees could be used for upgrades to reduce the impact on the environment.
“With all the salt that we’ve had on roads recently, that’s all running into the sewer systems, so you can’t ignore the problems because they don’t go away,” Senate President Steve Sweeney told CBS New York.
“Under the bill, a county, municipality, or authority (local unit) that establishes a stormwater utility is authorized to charge and collect reasonable fees and other charges to recover the stormwater utility’s costs for stormwater management,” the bill reads.
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