Valley of the Moon Water District is committed to providing affordable, safe and reliable water to our customers.

Unfortunately, not all Californians are as lucky. There are those in small, disadvantaged rural communities who may not have access to safe drinking water. While we vigorously support safe drinking water for all Californians, the latest proposal by Gov. Brown to impose a new state tax on water is an inappropriate solution to a problem that must be solved.

The Brown Administration is trying to slip a water tax through the State Legislature, via a trailer bill. While California needs to take a leadership role in solving this problem, the majority of Californians do not believe that taxing life-essential drinking water makes sense.

Consider:

The cost of living in California is already one of the highest in the nation and adding a water tax would only drive the cost of living higher.

Taxing water works against the goal of keeping water affordable.

Drinking water is essential to life and the public does not support taxing life essentials.

The Brown Administration is attempting to skirt existing tax laws that require a two-thirds super-majority by both houses by calling this a “fee” instead of a tax.

Legislation could set a precedent and open the door to additional water taxes in the future.

No other state in the nation taxes its drinking water.

There is a better approach. Valley of the Moon Water District believes that a package of funds comprised of ongoing federal safe drinking water funds, voter approved general obligation bonds (two water bond proposals on the ballot next year supported by Valley of the Moon Water District and Association of California Water Agencies), proposed assessments relating to nitrates in ground water, and state general funds already collected by the state makes the most sense. This funding package is a far more practical way to assure safe drinking is available to all Californians, without burdening them with additional taxation.

Valley of the Moon Water District recognizes the need to keep costs as low as possible for our customers. We do not want to be forced into becoming a tax collector for the state.

If you believe that taxing water is wrong, then please join Valley of the Moon Water District in opposing the drinking water tax and let your state legislators know!

Jon L. Foreman is President of the Board of the Valley of the Moon Water District.