Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Board Plans to Raise NYC Water Rates

Be prepared to get hosed:

New York City homeowners are going to get drenched with new water rates.

The city Water Board wants to raise the rate by 11.5 percent, adding $72 to the average single family home bill.

It's the largest increase since 1992.

The board is going to hold a public hearing on the hike, but critics say that's just a formality. The hike will probably happen no matter what.

Water Board Executive Director Steven Lawitts says the increase is justified because the city's water rates have been lower than the national average for years.

from 1010wins.com


Anonymous said...

Got to pay for all those new people that serve the Manhattan elite.

We pay taxes to give them a drink of water, the rich in Manhattan get their sweat.

jb said...

C'mon. Our water is not paid for directly through water fees. It's 'subsidized' through the general income, business and property tax rolls. Give me a targeted consumption tax that I can argue about over amorphous omnibus taxes any day.

And anyways, our water is ridiculously 'underpriced' anyway. Our overall consumption is something like 30% lower than it was in the 70's. People take conservation somewhat seriously these days so this isn't a huge priority, but this increase really isn't about hydrating the working underclass. (That doesn't make sense even as an emotional symbol.)

The Economist has a number of great articles about what happens with municipal/national water utilities that fail to charge even nominal usage fees. Inefficiency, corruption and waste always creep in by the 2nd or 3rd generation. We have enough tragedies of the commons in our fair city.

Anonymous said...

jb, thanks.

a million extra people and I will not get stuck paying taxes for them to drink.

I can keep the taxes. I will put it in a fund. My first step towards 'affordable' housing.

Anonymous said...

It's not a tax, it's a price for using water. Almost all water use in the city is metered and you pay for what you use. People in Manhattan pay the same per gallon as everyone else.

The real reason for the increase isn't that it costs less here than in other cities. The real reason (mostly) is capital projects mandated by the state and federal governments. Everything from a filtration plant in the Bronx to upgrades of sewage plants to remove nitrogen from places like Jamaica Bay. Watershed protection is another huge expense.

Another cause is just the general increase in the price of all the things you need to run a water and sewer system. Chemicals, concrete, steel, copper, electricity, fuel, etc. have all gone up in cost tremendously in the last few years.

Regardless, we have a great water system and we'd be fools to neglect it.

Anonymous said...

How secure is our water supply from tampering by the way?

And I though those Manhattan yuppies drink nothing but Evian!