Water Fight! Alexandria Says Proposed Hike in State Water Tax is All Wet
The city is objecting to the tax rate increase. That's good news, right?
Alexandria, VA – The Port City is formally objecting to proposed Virginia American Water tax increases and is encouraging citizens to voice their discontent over regulations that would increase water bills by an average of $75 per customer in the first year, and $39 in subsequent years.
The city is encouraging the public to oppose the increase by submitting comments online with the State Corporation Commission by Aug. 13, under case PUR-2018-00175.
“While Virginia American Water is an important partner in Alexandria’s water system, the City has a responsibility to the community to speak up when rate increases are too aggressive,” said City Manager Mark Jinks. “Increases are needed from time to time in order to maintain and improve aging infrastructure, but they must be structured and paced fairly and equitably.”
If approved by the Commission, the proposed rate increase will go into effect next May.
According to a City Press Release:
“The City’s primary objections are that the company’s proposed return on equity (i.e. profit margin) should be lower; the rate of bill increases should be gradual and representative of national averages; and costs of serving customers should be appropriately and fairly allocated between residential, commercial and industrial customers.”
Meanwhile, Back at the Water Works…
The company filed a general rate application back in November, and asked for a $5.6 million rate increase that would pay for approximately $98 million in recent infrastructure upgrades, including water main replacements, upgrades to a water treatment plant in Hopewell, VA, construction projects in Dale City and other projects throughout the state.
“Even with the new interim rates, the proposed cost of water service in all Virginia American Water districts is lower than most other household utility bills – an exceptional value,” said Barry Suits, president, Virginia American Water, in April.
According to Virginia American Water…
The interim rates affect all customers in the company’s Alexandria, Hopewell, Prince William, and Eastern Districts. The new monthly billing amounts (effective May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020) for Virginia American Water’s residential customers are changing as follows for residential customers using 4,500 gallons per month (not including surcharges, taxes and third-party fees):
- Alexandria – A $6.40 increase per month
- Hopewell – A $2.86 increase per month
- Eastern – A $3.33 decrease per month
- Prince William – A $4.34 increase per month for water service, and a $1.03 decrease per month for wastewater service
Looks like citizens will feel the sting on water tax from all fronts. The city approved TWO increases of around 10% on water via our new Alexandria Renew Enterprises tax.