SB 845 Water Tax

Tracking Senate Bill 845 - Drinking Water Tax

(formerly known as SB 623)

Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) regularly follows proposed legislation that could affect the District and its customers. One of the bills we have been following is Senate Bill 845, which would establish a statewide voluntary fee collected on drinking water. 

Money generated by the this donation would go in to a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to upgrade water systems in about 300 communities where water doesn’t meet public health standards. Most of those systems are privately owned and in rural, disadvantaged communities in the Central Valley.

EVMWD has opposed the  proposal—unless amended—because we do not believe that a tax is a sustainable approach toward resolving the serious and ongoing issue of water accessibility. The tax would raise about $110 million per year. For EVMWD customers, the tax would be a "voluntary donation" of 95 cents per month, added to their monthly bills. Businesses would contribute up to $10 per month, and fees would also be imposed on fertilizer and dairies. EVMWD and other water providers would collect the fee and forward it to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in Sacramento. The tax could increase annually at the discretion of the SWRCB. 

EVMWD supports an alternative to SB 845, Assembly Bill 2050 the Small System Water Authority Act of 2018, to develop and propose an alternative that would rely on funding sources other than a tax on water while also increasing oversight of these failing water systems. This legislation seeks to merge multiple small water systems that don’t meet drinking water standards into larger systems that can operate together at a lower cost. By merging, they would have better financing opportunities, including access to state grants and municipal bonds.

Get the facts at

For Legislators: 
AB 2050 – Small System Water Authority Act of 2018 

AB 2050 – Small System Water Authority Act of 2018 Fact Sheet

SB 845 – Voluntary Drinking Water Tax

SB 845 Fact Sheet 1
SB 845 Fact Sheet 2
ACWA Coalition Letter in Response to SB 623 Budget Trailer Bill 
SB 623 and Budget Trailer Bill Summary

The clock is ticking, and legislators will soon vote on your behalf.  Do you know how your legislator will vote on the water tax (SB 845), and how their vote will affect you and your family?

State Senator: 

The Honorable
Jeff Stone (R)
28th District
Lake Elsinore, Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Wildomar. 

State Capitol, Room 4062
Sacramento, CA 95814 
PH: (916) 651-4028
FAX: (916) 651-4928

Murrieta Office
25186 Hancock Ave., Suite 320
Murrieta, CA 92562
PH:  (951) 894-3530
FAX: (951) 894-3536

State Assembly Representative:

The Honorable
Melissa Melendez (R)
67th District
Lake Elsinore, Lakeland Village, Canyon Lake, Wildomar, Menifee, Temescal Valley, 
Murrieta,  Hemet, El Sobrante, Perris, Winchester, & Woodcrest

State Capitol, Suite 6031
Sacramento, CA 94249
PH: (916) 319-2067 
FAX: (916) 319-2167  

41391 Kalmia Street, Suite 220 
Murrieta, CA 92562 
PH: (951) 894-1232 
FAX: (951) 894-5053