The Howell Township in New Jersey tables resolution opposing permitted storm water utility
In Howell Township, N.J., council members tabled a resolution stating their opposition to legislation signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy.
According to centraljersey.com, Murphy signed S-1073, or the “Clean Stormwater and Flood Reduction Act,” into law March 18. Those who oppose the law refer to the legislation as a “rain tax.” The law permits a municipality to establish a storm water utility for the purposes of acquiring, constructing, improving, maintaining and operating a storm water management system.
According to the resolution, a municipality that has an established storm water utility is authorized to charge and collect “reasonable fees and other charges to recover the storm water utility’s costs for storm water management.”
Municipalities who collects fees are required to remit to the state treasurer annually an amount equal to 5% of all fees or other charges or $50,000. This will then be deposited into the “Clean Stormwater and Flood Reduction Fund”, according to the resolution.
According to centraljersey.com, council members voted 4-1 following a discussion to table the resolution. The vote will also permit members of the Howell Environmental Commission and the Planning Board to review the document.
“The citizens of Howell are already under a burden due to the various taxes and fees imposed by federal, state and local governments, and although the Township Council supports environmental causes and concerns, it does not wish to add to the burden of its citizen taxpayers by establishing a storm water utility and charging the permitted fees,” the resolution states.
Joan Osborne, who chairs the Environmental Commission, said residents that may be interested in the council’s action did not have notice that the resolution would be on the agenda.
Osborne said last summer residents in Howell’s Ramtown section “went through horrible flood damage caused by storm water.”