While a bill sits on Governor Murphy’s desk that will allow local governments to establish authorities to impose fees on residents and business owners based on their impervious surfaces, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association continues to break down in stunning detail why the legislation should not be signed.

NJBIA is also urging members to tell the governor to vote no what some call the “rain tax.”

“Not only does this legislation add another tax on overburdened residents and businesses, but there is no language in it that defines how much people will be charged or how the funds generated by it would actually solve the stated problems,” said Ray Cantor, NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs.

“At the end of the day, this is really just a tax in search of a problem as stormwater issues throughout the state are already being addressed in different areas.”

While there is some difference of opinion between opponents and supporters of the controversial bill on whether it should be called a “rain tax,” it would undoubtedly create authorities to impose fees based on the amount of impervious surfaces – patios, parking lots, driveways and roofs – on residential and commercial properties.

Potentially, 565 individual authorities could charge fees within their own boundaries, without having to consider how sewerage systems and stormwater in neighboring towns affect their projects. A county could also decide to have a stormwater authority, as well, potentially forcing property owners to deal with two bureaucracies and fees for the same property.

The worst part, Cantor says, is there are mechanisms already in place to address the intent of the legislation. These include:

  • Municipal stormwater (MS4) permits have already been issued and compliance is happening and expected without the need for new taxes.
  • Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) communities and permittees have already been provided permits by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and are working on long-term solutions under existing authorities and revenue streams.
  • All municipalities within the Barnegat Bay Watershed have adopted a Stormwater Management Plan and Stormwater Control Ordinance.
  • Most developments that have existing stormwater basins manage their stormwater on site.

Cantor adds that the legislation does not address stormwater maintenance issues by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, a major stormwater operator throughout the state and in the Barnegat Bay watershed. And a new tax, if implemented, still won’t stop flooding in areas subject to tidal flooding or in areas with chronic flooding like the Passaic River Basin.

“Most disturbingly, there is no limit on how high this tax can be or how much can be collected,” Cantor said. “It essentially creates a new property tax on the public and another bureaucratic expense on the local level.

“On top of that, the law will be extremely difficult to administer. It would require an analysis of each property in a town, credits for existing facilities, and credits for how well you maintain a facility. There is no certainly on how much can be collected and no stated appeals process.”

Imposing another fee on business would also add to the cumulative total of costly mandates which leads to New Jersey having the worst business climate in the nation. They include:

  • The second-highest Corporate Business Tax in the nation.
    • A $15 minimum wage increase mandate
    • An enhanced paid sick leave mandate
    • An expanded paid family leave mandate
    • Higher energy delivery costs
    • Fees from added renewable energy efforts

5 responses to “Setting the Record Straight on Stormwater Tax”

  1. Paul says:

    There’s no limit to what these communists (Democrats) will do to steal our money

  2. Dan says:

    Jersey literally becomes more oppressive every day.

  3. Robin U Blind says:

    Sadly, Paul our Socialist State Government, together with the New Jersey State Department of Profit Prevention. has only just begun to tax us.

    You gotta admit, the idea of a Rain Tax was very clever on the part our Socialist State Government.

    But wait – there’s more! Let’s add:

    1) New Sales Tax and Occupancy Tax of almost 12% for Jersey Shore Summer Rentals. That is shore to please the tourist industry!

    2) Advisement that our NJ State pension fund deficiency will be almost $2 Billion this year and skyrocket to $4 Billion by 2023. Murphy advised us that this translate into a 25% increase in our State Income Tax and an increase in our Sales Tax to only temporality “mitigate” the deficiency with no cure in site.

    Running out of creative taxing options, I heard, in the wind, that these Socialist Democrats are scheming up another tax in support of AOC’s proposed “Green Act” – The Flatulence Air Recycling Tax or FART for short. We all know those damn Jersey dairy cows are releasing way to much methane and the Social Democrats are going to make damn sure that they do something about it – So they will decide to tax the hell out of the diary farmers (They probably make to much money anyway 😉 for all the excess methane created by those dairy cows.

    What are your gonna do … Tell a cow to “Keep it in so we all win” …

    Now, onto the next creative tax idea …

  4. Marty says:

    The Governor is making the argument for those who want/must leave the state and seek refuge in a Non-socialistic/ Capitalist environment.
    The Governors actions are a strong sign of desperation in a state that can’t and will not be able to pay it’s debts and is an unable to have any competitive edge over other states for the attraction of business and subsequently population inflow.
    It is a sad scenario for a state that is so geographically located , with a great talent pool, that it should be a powerhouse in commerce . But instead it is a state rapidly declining as it is crushed under its massive debt load and socialistic responses to its obligations.

  5. thomas veca says:

    as a business owner i am already subject to the stormwater pollution prevention plan (SPPP), promulgated by the state dept. of environmental protection (DEP). coupled with that, my business operates in a community that established a municipal utilities authority (MUA) which charges an annual fee for sewer; effectively taxing my business twice.
    when the state capped municipal budgets, many municipalities resorted to fees to bridge the budget gap with a sewer fee being relatively ubiquitous. a stormwater tax on residents would result in similar duplication.
    i understand the opinion of the administrations past and present; a belief that businesses making a profit operating in new jersey should pay a premium for that privilege. that logic should not, and does not, carry over to the residents of this great state.
    so the questions arise that: if the tax gets approved, do the politically sensitive MUA’s get dismantled? Do the municipalities continue to charge a sewer fee which can than be deducted from the state stormwater tax? and on and on.