Idea Is To Protect Garden State's Streams, Rivers And Bays From Potentially Toxic Storm Runoff From Salt And Lawn Fertilizers


ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey is one of the highest taxed states in the country.

Now, residents and businesses could be taxed extra … when it rains.

Save it for a rainy day. Some of your hard-earned dollars may be taken away as the weather turns ugly and rain drops fall on the Garden State. A new bill calls for the creation of local or regional storm water utilities, giving local counties and municipalities the power to collect a tax from properties with large paved surfaces such as parking lots, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.

That’s businesses and homeowners.

The bill passed in the Senate and the Assembly and is now headed to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk.

“With all the salt that we’ve had on roads recently, that’s all running into the sewer systems. So you can’t ignore problems because they don’t go away,” Senate President Steve Sweeney said.

Sweeney said most states already have storm water utilities that collect and filter runoff from storms. In New Jersey, the runoff goes directly into streams, rivers and bays, carrying with it pollution like lawn fertilizers that contaminate the waterways.

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Former governor and current state Sen. Richard Codey said it’s necessary.

“A lot of our economy is based on, obviously, the shore. We gotta make sure we keep it that way,” Codey said.

Some homeowners aren’t a fan of the plan, either.

“They are crazy. As it is, there are too much taxes in New Jersey,” Elizabeth resident Ramon Columna said. “Why would we want more taxes especially on cement, ya know?”

“Our homeowner’s taxes are as high as they can possibly be. They shouldn’t go any higher. It’s not fair,” resident Leslie Cedillo added.

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Some Republicans have dubbed the bill the “Rain Tax,” saying another tax makes New Jersey even more unaffordable, and state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. agrees.

“We all want to protect our environment. We all want to preserve it for future generations. But this is a weighted tax. The citizens of New Jersey … really with no oversight and no way to defend themselves against tax increases at local levels,” Kean said.

When asked what he would say to taxpayers who say they cannot afford another tax, Codey said, “It’s a small cost to live safely.”

Other supporters say creating these utilities would help reduce flooding caused by storms.

Comments (93)
  1. Marcia Boon Green says:

    if democrats in NJ are upset about this – MAYBE THEY NEED TO WAKE THE HE++ UP AND STOP VOTING IN DEMOCRATIC LEADERS!!! #WALKAWAY!

  2. Brian Kapral says:

    great ! So this idiot is having contractors and the DOT put salt and brine solution down WAY before a storm hits (EVEN IF IT HITS!) and now wants to tax us because rain water is washing salt into the water ways? Maybe if they put the salt down when its needed we wouldn’t have so much salt going into the water ways in the first place governor !

  3. John Ricci says:

    So is some inspector going to come to my property and determine how much of my runoff goes into the storm drain system? I live in a heavily-wooded area on the edge of a county park system where my coverage (house, driveway, etc.) is regulated to be quite low relative to property size. When I replaced my driveway It was a condition imposed by my township that I not change the drainage pattern because (1) there are no storm drains on the part of the rural street where I live, and (2) all of my runoff goes into a ravine that is part of the park system. However my house is a ranch (and so has considerable coverage) and I have a fairly large driveway (because there is no parking on my ancient street). So if I pay a rain tax based on coverage I’m absolutely hammered. If I pay based on how much of my runoff goes into the storm drain system, I won’t pay anything at all. Tell me how this is going to work, although I’m sure the state will calculate using coverage. The state, in particular under our wonderful Gov. Murphy, will always find a way to squeeze more money out anyone that they can think can afford it, which is everybody but those on welfare.

  4. Ozarkman Huston says:

    I feel it’s a GREAT idea (the Rain Tax”)–especially since I live in Missouri—lol

  5. Jay Rulon says:

    This is freaking hilarious. My favorite part is that this is supposed to help with all the salt on the road ways. Has no one realized that ever since Murphy completely botched that one storm a few months ago (He was apparently the only person in the entire state who didn’t realize there was going to be a major storm that day and had the balls to blame the weather men.) that he has been going completely freakin overboard with salting the roadways if there is even a 1% chance we might get a dusting of snow in the state. He is literally the reason there is so much underutilized salt all over the road ways of this state and now he wants to tax us on it? This dude is outta his mind.

  6. Out one side of his mouth Cuomo’s begging the wealthy not to leave New York while out the other side he’s telling them their taxes aren’t high enough.

    Pass the popcorn.

  7. Jim Southerland says:

    Please do not come to TN for low taxes, lots of jobs, low cost housing, and free college. We have too many carpetbaggers who have come here and want to drag NJ or ILL with them. If you want ILL or NJ, stay there.

  8. Scott Krbec says:

    Keep voting Democrat. Just don’t move, we don’t want your kind in flyover country. You can crap in your kitchen all you want, just don’t come to my house and do it.

  9. Russ Foster says:

    Way to go New Jersey!! Just keep electing those Liberal Socialist DemoRats. They’ll have your entire paycheck soon enough!

  10. Karl Baumgarten says:

    I had the chance to go live and work in New Jersey when I retired from the US Air Force. I’m sure glad I told them I wasn’t interested in living in a state like theirs.

  11. Russ Snow says:

    Agenda 21 folks….. just sayin’!!

  12. Arnold Spencer says:

    You think taxes are high now? Wait till AOC gets her Green New Deal rolling. You fools keep voting these clowns in. Blame yourselves.

  13. Don Perry says:

    If the tax is on paved surfaces, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and the state should also be penalized for every square foot of road pavement that it had a hand in creating. The state should reimburse the citizens for the paved roadways it has created.

  14. Andy Howe says:

    Who will be exempt from paying this tax? The government, which is likely the cause of most of the runoff given the parking lots at their many buildings hosting their bureaucracies and the highways, streets, and sidewalks, etc. Who is salting the roads? That’s right, the government.

  15. Matthew Dunnyveg says:

    Texas has some of the lowest taxes in the country and some of the most functional government. The difference between Texas and New Jersey? Along with other liberals states, most tax dollars go to provide welfare so that Democrats can have a voting base.

  16. Sue Schaerer Stansel says:

    Don’t forget to tax Churches, Schools and Government offices! They all have huge parking lots!

  17. Phil Nikol says:

    And exactly why is the State bleeding taxpayers to low tax States?
    Nest it will be a fart tax.

  18. Chuck Hunnefield says:

    I guess not enough people have left NJay yet. New Jersey is the California of the East – without the great weather.

  19. Tarun Basu says:

    Pretty embarrassing that your Senate President Sweeney is either ignorant that storm-water doesn’t go in the sewer or is lying to the public. There is no practical way to remove salt from runoff. Clearly a pure money grab ineffectively disguised as an effort to help the environment.

  20. Mark Em says:

    I can think of other idiotic ideas for taxing everyday life:

    1. Pork skin consumption tax
    2. Eye blinking tax
    3. Safe Sex tax – gotta pay to get rid on prophylactics
    4. Hot Air tax – all government officials that think up these ridiculous taxes pay to show up at work.

  21. You vote for Dems, you get more and higher taxes.

    No surprise.

  22. Doug A. Godwin says:

    We have been paying for water runoff in my Ohio city for years.

  23. Voting has consequences… Ha Ha NJ

  24. Lee Bertram says:

    Much of the state is paved with streets, roads, highways, and parking lots for government workers (but I should speak more “nuanced” and call them people who are employed by government).

    Will these government properties also be taxed by the local counties and municipalities?

    HEY! It’s NEW JERSEY! Why wouldn’t it make perfect sense to New Jersey powers-that-legislate?

  25. Hugh C Young says:

    I’m surprised that these Tax and Spend Socialist Democrats haven’t figured out a way to tax the air we breathe. Don’t worry about it. They must be plotting it as we speak.

  26. Stu Pedasso says:

    A socialist is simply a communist who doesn’t have the power to take everything you own at gunpoint…. yet.

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