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Exterior shot of NJ State House with gold dome.The Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would allow local governments to set up stormwater utilities and charge users fees to pay for them. The bill, S-1073, is aimed at addressing non-point source pollution that comes from stormwater runoff.

NJBIA opposes the bill because it would be another cost increase on doing business in New Jersey.

“New Jersey is the most taxed state in the nation and our companies and residents are challenged by affordability and the overall cost of living here,” NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas said.  “For many businesses, the fees authorized in this bill would amount to double taxation, as many facilities already are required to obtain stormwater permits for their operations.”

“NJBIA understands the laudable goal of the sponsor to address non-point source pollution, flooding and infrastructure needs,” said Buteas. “However, we believe a comprehensive plan for our water infrastructure that also mitigates the impact on ratepayers should instead be considered versus a new tax on ratepayers.”

How much the user fees will cost is difficult to predict. The bill requires that they be calculated based on guidance from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, but such guidance would not be issued until after the bill is signed into law.