Local resistance to Murphy’s rain tax spreads to North Jersey

CEDAR GROVE, N.J. – South Jersey’s Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-8) is rallying local leaders and elected officials to adopt municipal resolutions pledging to take a pass on Phil Murphy’s rain tax.

Peters’s Bergen County colleague Chris DePhillips (R-40) at the other end of the state is joining the effort and trying to add North Jersey communities to the list of communities opting out.

“Over the past few days I have joined Assemblyman Ryan Peters by imploring municipalities to oppose the rain tax by taking the ‘no rain tax’ pledge and passing a ‘no rain tax resolution.’” I have reached out to mayors in my district and many of them have agreed that our residents are overtaxed and charging people for rain would only add insult to injury,” said DePhillips in a press release.

Signed into law back in March, the new rain tax law permits municipalities and counties to set up stormwater utilities. These new entities are empowered by state law to assess a “fee” based upon individual property owners’ storm water runoff. There isn’t a cap on the fees. Unpaid fees could lead to a property lien. Maryland had a similar law on the books until a few years ago when it was repealed following a public backlash.

“My hope is that all of the towns in my district and across New Jersey will band together in this opposition,” said DePhillips. “We need to send a message to the governor that enough is enough and show that local officials are drawing a line in the sand.”

The mayors of Cedar Grove, Totowa, Wyckoff, Pompton Lakes, Pequannock, Allendale, and Waldwick are among those taking a stand on the issue.

“New Jersey taxpayers are already faced with the burden of paying the highest taxes in the nation and now the governor is proposing a tax on rain,” said Cedar Grove Mayor Cicala. “I stand behind Assemblyman DePhillips in calling on municipalities to come together and signal to their tax-paying residents and businesses that New Jersey’s tax burden is too high and we need to fully support the passing of the resolution proclaiming that municipalities will not overtax our residents for rain.”l.