The Golden State has proposed yet another tax from which almost no one can escape. Senate Bill 623, introduced by California State Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and called the “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund,” would impose a fee of 95 cents a month for using drinking water.

You might have heard of water; it’s absolutely essential to human life, and everybody on planet Earth needs it.  

California water district managers oppose the home and business portion of the bill because of this very reason. Cindy Tuck of the Association of California Water Agencies told Katy Murphy of Mercury News, “Water is essential to life. Should we tax drinking water? We don’t think so.”

California has a general fund that is meant to assist communities in need, including those with contaminated water like the Central Valley. But Monning does not believe this general fund can be depended upon, and that an extra $12 a year is no big deal, saying, “You’re not going to notice [the tax] on your water bill.”

So unless an impoverished Californian “self-certifies under penalty of perjury the customer’s satisfaction of specified criteria relating to income,” according to the wording of the bill, everyone who needs to drink water — which is literally everyone and their dog — would be subject to this tax. 

The air in Southern California was super smoky after the La Tuna wildfire. Will the next tax be on the atmosphere? Will Sacramento charge us for air so that it’s kept safe and affordable? 

Eh, a dollar a month is no big deal, you say (because I haven’t even touched the additional fees on farmers). Neither is a couple of cents on gasoline, or the ten cent fee for paper bags at the grocery store. Nobody misses a nickel or a dime, and hardly anybody misses a dollar anymore. 

But this is how California became Taxifornia. Little by little, all those nickels and all those dimes and all those dollars added up to huge yearly expenditures that are eating away at everybody except the A-list celebrities and the Silicon Valley billionaires. 

I live in California; it is a beautiful state with a diverse and exciting population. During certain times of the year, you can ski one day, drive a few hours, and hit the beach the next. There is something amazing happening every day in Los Angeles, and it is impossible to be bored. 

And California knows this about itself. It knows it’s the popular girl at school. So it has incrementally started making more and more demands of its admirers. Eventually, it will be the disgraced head cheerleader passed out with alcohol poisoning at a party, because nobody told it no. 

Californians need to say no to this bill, not because awful conservatives hate Safe and Affordable drinking water. We all need to stop just reading the names of things and look at the substance. Of course everyone in California wants their neighbors in the Central Valley to have clean drinking water. But is a drinking water tax truly the only solution?

We see where all our tax money doesn’t go, and that is to roads. Despite being inhabited by some of the richest people in the world, streets like Sunset and Mulholland are barely safe for a Range Rover, let alone a Porsche. Pot holes and crevasses are practically the hallmark of rich neighborhoods.

Even freeways have them at times. There’s a lane I avoid where the 101 splits off toward Universal City because I know there’s a gaping wound in the pavement that challenges even the best suspension.

One wonders if California politicians are actively trying to chase out the middle and lower classes, imagining we’ll all be bussed in from Nevada and Arizona when the president of a media conglomerate needs a latte or a manicure.