Federal Tax on Bottled Water to Help Subsidize Water Infrastructure

 July 2, 2009

 Dear Merrillee ,

 A few weeks ago I wrote to you with the news that President Obama had proposed a renewed commitment to funding our water infrastructure. Since then, the House of Representatives has passed appropriations for the state revolving funds — the mechanism for distributing federal money for water infrastructure — totaling $3.7 billion for next year. That’s great news, but more can be done.

 We can’t afford to rely on the whims of congressional appropriators and friendly administrations. We need a Clean Water Trust Fund. But how should we pay for it?

 Earlier this week the Government Accountability Office released a report on the possible ways we can pay for a trust fund. Among the options is a bottled beverage tax.

 This tax would be levied on water-based bottled beverages that take water from our drinking water systems and discharge waste into our wastewater systems.

 As you can imagine, this funding source will meet with stiff opposition from the bottled beverage industry. That’s why we need you to write your Member of Congress to let them know you support a bottled beverage tax as a funding source for a Clean Water Trust Fund.

 With your support we’ll be able to convince Congress that we need both a Clean Water Trust Fund and that we should pay for it with a bottled beverage tax.

 We expect a trust fund bill to be introduced in Congress in the next few weeks, so it is important that we let our Members know now that we support a bottled beverage tax.

  Sincerely,

 Mitch Jones
Water Policy Analyst
Food & Water Watch

  Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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