Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:08 PM on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lets put fair in water/sewer rates

Once again water/sewer rates are a hot topic. The Homer City Council decided to target a small user group, multi-family buildings. The council recently voted to charge a monthly customer charge per unit in the building rather than for the one allowed meter. The arguments I heard to justify this large increase was under the heading of fairness.

One council member said he had talked to homeowners and they told him, they feel they are subsidizing the apartments. I am going to assume that this council member informed these concerned citizens that apartments have been paying commercial rates, which are close to two times as high as residential rates and have also been paying the monthly customer charge for the one meter the city will read.

On top of these higher rates, a 7.5 percent sales tax is paid per tenant each month for rent. Fairness? Think about it. Multi-family units have been paying a monthly customer charge, almost twice the amount for water/sewer than residential, sales tax on rent and property taxes. Multi-family units have not been subsidized in any manner; they have been paying their fair share and then some.

The bottom line is, these multi-family buildings only have one meter and the owner pays a monthly customer charge for it. Now the city wants to change the rules and charge as if there is a meter for each apartment in the building. How long before they decide to charge us for each bedroom we have in our house, even though there is only one meter? How about a sales tax each month on your mortgage?

Please, lets try to use common sense when taking money from citizens. Maybe its time to revisit cutting expenses rather than continuing to find ways of squeezing more from our citizens.

Dave Mastolier