Water bottling tax proposed

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(WCJB)-- Companies bottling north central Florida spring water may soon have to pay a tax.

Democratic state Sen. Janet Cruz, from Hillsborough County, proposed a bill that would require companies pumping water from Florida's springs to pay 0.5 cents per gallon.

The Florida Springs Institute which opposes a permit request from Nestle Waters to bottle 1.2 million gallons of water from Ginnie Springs in Gilchrist County says this is a step in the right direction.

The Florida Springs Institute says the bill could generate 200 million dollars for the state every year.

Nestle Water North America responding to the pending legislation, saying in part: "Similar legislation has been proposed and rejected in the past, and we continue to find such proposals without scientific merit, harmful to Florida's economic competitiveness."