Chandler bill authorizing rural counties to use sales and use taxes to purchase water rights scheduled for public hearing

 

Chandler bill authorizing rural counties to use sales and use taxes to purchase water rights scheduled for public hearing

'We need to engage in a vigorous discussion about what is the best path forward in managing Washington's water,' says Chandler

Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, has sponsored legislation this year to allow rural counties to purchase existing water rights with monies collected from sales and use taxes.

Chandler, who serves on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, said he wants to start a public dialogue on the practice of using public resources in the marketplace for water banking.

“The implications surrounding our water management are so important – so vital to our future – that we need to engage in a vigorous discussion about what is the best path forward in managing Washington's water,” said Chandler, R-Granger.  “I know the county commissioners in Yakima and other rural counties are looking for a tool to use to help them manage this most precious resource.  My bill begins the dialogue on whether or not water banking is the right strategy for the future of water management for Washington state.  If it is, should it be privately funded or publicly funded?”

Chandler's bill, House Bill 2596, would simply expand a rural county's approved use of local sales and use taxes to include the purchase of existing water rights.  It would apply to counties with a population density fewer than 100 persons per square mile, or smaller than 225 square miles.

The bill is schedule for a public hearing in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 1:30 p.m.

“It's important to continue to seek new ideas and new solutions to our water management issues,” said Chandler.  “My bill may not be the solution for every county, for every water management problem they're facing.  But if we can determine that this process is an effective tool for some counties and it works for them, I want to give local governments the chance to work with the state to manage their water resources effectively and efficiently.”

The 60-day 2014 legislative session is scheduled to end on March 13.

REP. CHANDLER AUDIO:

Clip 1:  “The implications are so important, so vital to our future. We need to engage in a vigorous discussion about what is the best path forward in managing Washington's water.”

MP3 File

Clip 2:  “It's a bill that begs the question of whether or not water banking is the right strategy for the future of water management for Washington state. And if it is, should it be privately funded or publicly funded?”

MP3 File

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov