Florida’s public utilities may be forced to collect a new water tax if the state fails to raise revenue, a legislative panel says.
The Florida Public Utility Commission, which is chaired by Republican state Rep. Mike Williams, has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday for the panel to hear testimony from utility commissioners about their thinking on how to pay for the new water taxes.
The state’s top elected officials and their business and political allies are opposed to any new taxes.
The commission has already set aside money to help pay for an expected tax hike in April, and Williams is expected to bring up the issue again at the commission’s next meeting.
The commission is considering whether to charge a $1 water tax on the first $1,200 of customers’ water bills, according to a commission document obtained by FoxNews.
The bill is expected in January.
The governor has said the tax will raise about $2 billion, and it’s not clear how much of that could come from a new tax on electric bills.
The plan would also add a new fee to pay bills, but it’s unclear how much would go toward paying for the water tax.
The agency’s public service commission is also looking at a new method for calculating the tax.
The new water revenue would be paid out to the state, and the state’s water agency would be responsible for ensuring it’s used for its stated purpose.
But the commission is recommending that the state not spend the money on the water, but instead use it to help cover the cost of the new bills.