I know first hand how our expensive housing market and higher-than-average utility rates disproportionately affect low-to-moderate income households. These households already have so little room in their budgets that the rate increases can cause real financial hardship. Therefore, I support a freeze on city utility rate increases.
From 2015 to 2021, the typical utility bill, based on the average use of 4000 gallons of water per month, has increased from about $77 per month to about $112 per month. That equates to a 45% increase in city utility rates since 2015, or an average of about 7.5% per year.
The City’s water and wastewater fund shows an 8.7% increase in charges for services from the 2021 revised budget to the 2022 revised budget. Charges for storm water show a 2.8% increase, and solid waste an 11% increase. These increases may help the City’s budget but are unsustainable for its residents.