Changes to taxes add up significantly for some
Recently, Fran Bradley alerted us to changes that are being considered to taxes. He did not include one group, changes to public utility rates, which are being proposed by the Rochester City Council.
Electric, water and waste water rates are all increasing; they are different than other rates because they all include an increase in both a customer charge and the usage portion of the bill.
The increase in the fixed portion of the bill affects those on fixed income or who are making efforts to conserve particularly hard. We assume that if we reduce our usage we will save, but with the changes in billing, that is not true. The fixed portion will not change. The argument is that there are costs to bring service to our home, and this pricing shares those costs, but the increase is based on a percentage not on a calculation of the actual change.
The figure is small but added to the other increases reported by Bradley, they add up to a significant amount of the budget of a senior citizen or low-income worker.
Talk to your city council member, county commissioner and school board member about the cost of these increases as part of the overall increase in public services. Two county board members have already voted against the preliminary levy because of the total cost.