A proposed new water meter tax in New Hampshire could have a devastating impact on the state’s already-poor water supply, according to a state report released Monday.
State officials said the new bill, proposed in the House last week, is a way to help pay for water infrastructure upgrades in the state.
But critics say the measure will not do enough to protect the state from drought.
The proposed tax would have to be approved by the state Supreme Court, which would have a chance to override any vetoes.
In the House bill, lawmakers proposed a 2-cent-per-gallon fee for water meters.
That would raise an estimated $1 billion over five years, according the State Journal-Register.
The State Journal reported the measure was proposed in a bipartisan bill, which has the support of Gov.
Maggie Hassan and the New Hampshire House.
The state’s water agency, the state Department of Environmental Protection, also has a proposed water meter fee that would raise $500 million over five months.
It’s unclear how the proposed fee would be paid for by the existing water budget.
The new measure is not expected to be ready for the November election.
The governor’s office said the bill is not a final measure and would be reviewed by the Legislature before being passed.
The Senate is scheduled to consider the bill Monday afternoon.