NJ bill derided as a ‘rain tax’ is law. Here’s what it really is and who will pay.

sewer grate, new jersey

SCOTT FALLON / NORTHJERSEY.COM – Towns and counties will have the power to impose fees on property owners to pay for upgrades to antiquated stormwater systems based on how much they contribute to runoff, under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Call a “rain tax” by opponents and “flood defense” by supporters, the measure does not impose a wide-ranging tax on a community. But it allows towns and counties to target properties where stormwater easily washes off — a leading cause of local flooding and high levels of pollution in the state’s waterways.

The most likely properties to be affected would be large malls and office parks with expansive parking lots …

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