Ann Margolin on Why She Opposes Mary Suhm's Proposed Water Rate Increase

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At last, another council member with a blog: Ann Margolin, who's penned a little sumpin-sumpin about the budget by way of an invite to one her town hall meetings. Specifically, Margolin writes, she's opposed to the increase in water and stormwater fees as proposed by City Manager Mary Suhm. The city manager wants to raise monthly Dallas Water Utilities fees by 4.2 percent and up stormwater management fees by an average of $1.72. To which Margolin responds, Hold your water.

Dallas Water Utilities
The proposed budget has an increase in water rates of about 4% for two main reasons:

  1. Replacement of aging water mains.
  2. PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes): This is a fee assessed to DWU in place of property taxes to be used for economic development. It is, in effect, a property tax on DWU that is paid for ONLY by Dallas residents (not the other municipalities that use DWU).
I have no objection to economic development, but believe we must support it within the budget, not by moving money from DWU to the General Fund. More information on DWU and the proposed rate table can be found at thus link. See slide 25 on this PDF for the rate table.

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