IN THE NEWS: Stormwater Measure Advances in State Assembly, Opponents Air Criticisms

Modeled on programs already in place in 41 other states, the bill would give towns and other entities the leeway to set up stormwater utilities that could impose fees on owners of properties with large areas of impervious cover, like parking lots, malls and other developments.

‘…looking to tax the rain’

But critics, including Republican members of the committee, denounced the bill as just another tax that would impose another layer of bureaucracy on government in New Jersey.

“Here we are looking to tax rain. What’s next? Air?’’ asked Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (R-Bergen), who argued other pressing water problems ought to be addressed first, including lead in drinking water and hundred-year-old water mains that leak potable water before it ever reaches customers.

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