To the editor:
I read with interest your article on water fees where you indicated the increase would on average be 6 percent. I am sure that is accurate as far as it goes. The fact is that the rate increase is not uniform across levels of consumption. For a property that irrigates, that increase would be closer to 140 percent, or about $1,000 per year.
That is a substantial increase. I have also been told that the increase is to address conservation by imposing it through the costs of water usage. However, I am told that there is no similar increase for city, county, school system or all commercial accounts. Those who irrigate their residential properties are being asked to bear the burden of much of our conservation effort.
I have also been told that the increase is to address the costs of growth in our system. Those who irrigate their residential properties are being asked to source a substantial portion of the cost of future community growth.
Now, some usage reduction can be achieved with minimal impact. How much that might be is unclear and the city has no data or willingness to discuss.
The notion of using fees to pay for expenditures historically paid out of general revenue might be construed as an attempt to end run the property tax lid placed on our city and county. Worse, targeting a limited portion of the citizenry to do so smacks of income redistribution. Where will it stop?