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A dedicated tax, fee or surcharge on the purchase of paint is another source of funding for lead hazard remediation, environmental investigation and lead poisoning prevention activities. The State of Maine is a current example of this funding strategy that is working well. Beginning in 2006, a 25 cent per gallon fee was added to the cost of all paint produced and/or purchased wholesale in Maine. Revenue from this fee supports the Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund which is currently used for lead poisoning medical case management and other lead-related public health costs.1 2 In the early 2000’s, the State of New Jersey passed a surcharge on the sale of new paint, the revenue from which was originally dedicated to the Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund. However, due to the specific regulations around state budgeting in New Jersey, the funds eventually reverted to the general fund rather than being allocated specifically to addressing lead hazards due to the state laws around budget allocations.
The first step in deploying revenue generation strategies to address lead hazards in housing is to ensure that revenue can be allocated to a specific pot of funds or for a specific purpose within your state or jurisdiction. It will be important to make a strong, evidence-based case for increased resources to address lead hazards, while highlighting best practices, and to learn from and adapt strategies implemented in other jurisdictions. In addition, passing state and local legislation requires political will and a champion within the legislature as you consider the unique needs and resources of your community to find a model that works best for you. Lastly, identify, engage and create a plan to address the concerns of opponents of the proposed legislation.