Population increase leads to higher water bills for City of Houston

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HOUSTON, TX - If you’re like most folks, you don’t keep that close an eye on your water bill. But if you`re in the City of Houston, your bill is going up. It has every year since 2010 because of something called the 'Water and Wastewater Rate Adjustment.'

“It pays for rehabilitation, it pays for maintenance, and it pays for debt service on the system,” says Greg Norman, City of Houston Public Works Spokesperson.

A letter went out in February that informed customers that on April 1, 2016 the rate adjustment is going up another 1.4%.

Why? Because more people moved to Houston. But wait... if more people moved to town, there`s more people paying more water bills? Is population growth really the right metric to raise rates?

“Some of our costs accelerate independent of the increase in population so that has to be covered as well. And this city ordinance section allows us to do just that,” explains Norman.

So money is being collected from citizens to use on government services. Some might call such a collection a “tax.” But! And this is a big but! The water system gets nothing from your property taxes.

Norman informs us that, “All of the costs to support and replace and pay for the sanitary sewer system and the water system, is covered by people’s water bills.”

Bills going up kinda stinks. Maybe not as much as sewage water mixing with our rain water, but still... it stinks!


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