Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a law allowing local governments to impose a tax on property owners for contributing to stormwater runoff problems.
Proponents of the measure say it’s necessary to help towns and counties pay for improvements needed to deal with runoff from roofs, driveways and parking lots. Critics say it’s just another effort by the state to wring more cash out of already overtaxed residents.
As NJ101.5 reports, the law signed by Murphy gives municipalities and counties the ability to establish so-called stormwater utilities that could impose the tax. Similar taxes in the United States add an additional $65 annually for the average single-family home, according to the report.
The law requires five percent of anything collected to go to the state, according to the report. New Jersey has a long history of taxes and fees imposed for specific, noble-sounding purposes eventually being used to plug holes in the general budget.
The bill was backed by environmental groups, but opposed by Republicans who say it’s just a new way for Murphy to tax New Jersey businesses and homeowners.
“A rainy day fund used to be what responsible government collected for emergencies. Not anymore. Not in New Jersey. Now, it’s just another Democratic property tax and Trenton money grab,” said Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt. “Instead of feeding your families, Murphy’s newest property tax scheme runs from your pockets and straight into Trenton’s to feed Murphy’s liberal agenda, instead. New Jersey needs its Republican legislators to create a bill to repeals this Rain Tax. Then, we need to flip seats during the Murphy midterms, ebb the never ending tide of Trenton taxes, and throw New Jersey taxpayers a life raft.”