From the Wall Street Journal:

Some of the farmers here in the rural Central Valley have been seeking a new tax levy for their water system. Dwindling groundwater, they say, is endangering the water supply.

"None of us likes to pay taxes. But this is our water," said Tom Hoffman, a pro-tax farmer who has 140 acres of wine grapes here and until recently sat on the local water board.

But voters here already have rejected the proposed levy, and last fall elected a firmly antitax group of members to the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District board. "No new taxes," said Hugh Scanlon, a newly elected Republican member. That "is the pledge I made to the people."

The post-election dispute in North San Joaquin is part of a debate being played out in communities nationwide, as politicians elected in last fall's elections grapple with spending requests by local constituents.

Water Demands Collide With an Antitax Push