2007_05_waterbd.jpgThe city's Water Board approved to raise the water and sewer rates starting in July. The rate hike, which AMNY calls the biggest increase in 15 years, means that an average household's water bill will go from $623 to $700 annually. The water board says that the new $700 average water rate is still below the national average (apparently Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Atlanta have average rates of over $1000 a year) and that the money is needed for mandated improvements to the water system.

Many lawmakers have been opposed to the hikes and like to mention how constituents will have to go "deeper into their pockets" to make up the difference. City Comptroller William Thompson said, "It is just such an incredible burden on homeowners as they are being asked to dig deeper and deeper into their pockets." And City Councilman James Oddo told the SI Advance that he expected the hike but "I've seen professional wrestling matches whose outcome were less preordained than this increase...These are considered robust times for city government ... yet during robust times, people are being asked to go deeper into their pockets."

You can read the DEP's proposal on rate hikes here (PDF). And the higher rates are one of many reasons why landlords think rent-stabilized rents should be raised.