Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Water Pressure: Rate Hikes Ahead!

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 8:32 PM

The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to hike your sewer fees by 45 percent or so. The Weekly's Dave Devine first warned you it was coming a few weeks back.

Now Dave, who hasn't yet joined embraced the blog, brings us this dispatch about the possibility of steep water bill increases:

The Citizens Water Advisory Committee will discuss a possible 10 percent or more increase for Tucson Water customers at its meeting next Wednesday, Feb. 25, based on a recommendation from a finance subcommittee that met yesterday.

Last year, the subcommittee's recommended 10 percent increase was whittled down, with the target being 8 percent annually over the next several years.

Lower demand for water, thanks to a combination of conservation, slowing population growth and the economic meltdown have led to suggested rate increase.

The City Council will have the final say, but the CWAC recommendation will carry some weight.

We should note that because the city has a tiered payment system, a 10 percent hike across the board does not mean that rates for all homeowners will increase by 10 percent.

Other wrinkles: Two potential "revenue enhancements" that the City Council may consider are an increase in the city's utility taxes and a new quasi-property tax for Tucson Water property. Either one increase Tucson Water bills.

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