Queens, NY – Today in the State Senate, Senator Tony Avella passed three pieces of legislation designed to protect and improve the lives of all New Yorkers. One of the three bills in particular, S1266B, abolishes the minimum charge for water supply in the City of New York, which will help homeowners across the five boroughs.
If and when this bill becomes law, it will result in a savings to the ratepayers of New York City who pay some of the highest water and sewer rates in New York State. Many homeowners have expressed their concern that their water rates are the highest tax they pay behind the property tax.
On a daily basis, citizens of this city are faced with unrelenting cost of living increases while many are on fixed incomes. The ever-increasing costs for everything from gasoline prices to property tax increases to the cost of medical care and prescription medicines are making it virtually impossible for many people to financially survive. As a result of these uncontrollable costs, many residents try to conserve their use of water to keep their costs as low as possible. However, with this mandatory minimum rate in place those who do conserve water are hit the hardest.
The minimum charge for water service is one of those regulations that makes no sense and ultimately sends the wrong message to consumers. Not only can conservation help people on fixed incomes to control their costs, but it is also an important virtue that we should all be adhering to with the ever-increasing demands we are placing on our environment.
“If we are going to charge for consumption, then charge for consumption and do not penalize those people who are trying to conserve their water usage. This minimum charge does nothing to help New Yorkers and is only an easy and legal way for the City to pick the pockets of its residents. This legislation will result in a huge savings for seniors, working families, and those living alone who are penalized for nothing more than simple conservation,” said Senator Avella.
One of the other two pieces of legislation (S1518A) included a directive to the boards of trustees of SUNY and CUNY to update sections of the Campus Fire Safety report of 2000 pertaining to the extent and adequacy of fire suppression and detection systems at member institutions. The third piece of legislation (S1931) passed today authorized the transfer control of two pumping stations from the homeowners of Waterside Estates to the City of New York and the Department of Environmental Protection.