TRENTON, N.J. — Running a coin laundry may become even more difficult in New Jersey, especially if a new tax based on water usage passes. State Sen. Bob Smith, D-Middlesex, has proposed a user fee of 40 cents per 1,000 gallons that would permanently fund open space and farmland preservation in New Jersey.
This would require voter approval and a constitutional amendment, because revenue generated would be dedicated to open space and farmland preservation.
It is estimated that this fee would cost the average homeowner $32 a year. However, businesses such as coin laundries would take a bigger hit. On 650,000 gallons of water a quarter, laundry owners would see their bills climb about $1,000, says David Brogan of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.
In addition, this tax would only add to the problems for laundry owners who have already seen their water bills jump lately. Brogan said a coin laundry owner has told him that his average water bill has soared from $20,000 to $27,000. If New Jersey coin laundry owners haven’t seen their water costs jump, they will, he adds.
There is some hope for laundry owners, Brogan believes. The government is looking at a proposed bond act as another source of revenue. He is cautiously optimistic that the proposed tax won’t pass as it stands.