New York should repeal the 4% sales tax placed on bottled water sales and treat it like other essential grocery items, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said Friday.

The Democratic lawmaker who represents the Schenectady area introduced legislation that would repeal the tax in New York.

Bottled water would be exempt from sales taxes if it is sold for human consumption, unheated and sold in the same form, packaging and quantities used in retail food stores.

“Water is the most essential grocery item and should not be taxed,” Santabarbara said. “With the summer months approaching, this bill will save New Yorkers money when they need to buy bottled water. Whether it’s preparing for an emergency when it may be the only option or even during routine water main breaks, bottled water is a necessity, not a luxury.”

If approved, the tax would put New York in line with 33 states in the country that do not place a tax on bottled water. The change would not affect the 5-cent bottle deposit placed on purchases for recycling.