Don’t double tax us
The city and county are trying to “tax” us twice for the same water. The city already charges extra for water consumption above a low threshold. Now the county wants to tax us to buy back the water we conserved under the city’s “taxing” plan.
The most basic premise of water law is “Use it or Lose it.” Unlike most consumables, the same water can be used dozens of times. Water treatment plants simply remove any contaminants and put the water flushed down our drains back into the river for the next user. The city and county have enough water rights for a city of several hundred thousand people.
There already exists minimum stream flow laws. And the state readily approved a bill allowing large water holders such as the Salvation Ditch to “loan” water to the river system during drought years.
The water tax sounds good, but it is just a “feel good” tax by people who want to show they are trying to preserve the environment. Using the water we already have and working cooperatively with our state representatives to make water law environmentally sound won’t require another tax, just some effort from the commissioners. They don’t need to raise money to hire but another consultant.