State Rep. Franklin Sands explains his backing of a tax on bottled water

12/08/11 Robert Lorei
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On the first part of today's program: State Rep. Franklin Sands, D-Weston, has filed a bill in Tallahassee to collect a fee from bottled water companies that derive profits from the free pumping of millions of gallons of water daily from Florida’s springs and other water bodies. Last week Sands’ filed House Bill 781 which would charge large users of Florida's water supplies 5 cents a gallon. I spoke with him earlier today.

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Water Tax Issue

It's interesting that so many public issues involve corporate influence. My first thought was that the water unlike minerals where an individual purchases the land and has a right to the "gold" or "mineral" on that land, doesn't the water get sucked from a connecting system that extends over a large land mass? For this reason the sucking of water out of the aquifer would possibly be in fact taking water that does not belong to the corporation as it is not part of the land owned but in fact owned by the public and in addition it could be causing sinkholes in areas, not just above that land owned by the corporation but land belonging to others? This seems to be a problem that has been around for many years but for some reason just now become a public problem. In the course of expanding civilization there are many things that are done for years and gotten away with until they step on another's toes. For this reason we are supposed to have government to represent the interests of the people. In this case the government would (if honest) step in and put a stop to the "taking" of public water and set up a water plant to pump only enough water so not to cause sink holes and only to provide to the people who actually own the water. (Floridians) Once the demand is met to supply Floridians with their own water, the government would sell it to other areas and the money would discount the water to the Floridians. Obviously there is a flaw in the public water supply or people, like myself, would drink "tap" water and not feel they need to drink "other" water for health reasons. Isn't it a fact that the government has failed to handle the water problem for many years and now we have a public official wanting to "tax" a cooperation. I don't see how taxing will handle the problem of managing the "publicly owned" water. The corporation will just raise the price of the water and we will end up paying the tax when we purchase the water. It would be more logical to tax water being shipped out of Florida and at a "higher" tax rate. It could be that this politician, in need of doing seemingly positive things to justify getting voted into office at next term is pretending to fix the water problem with a tax. Isn't this admission that he cannot handle the real problem. (Like handling the problem of slavery by passing a "higher standards for slaves act") I feel that until we get honest representation in government we will continue to get these types of political shows that camouflage the real issues and divert our attention off of the real problem which in this case is "steeling public water". Taxing stolen goods - sounds more like a payoff to me.


Lance, do you get paid by the word?