N4T Investigators: Tucson considers water cost increase - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Tucson considers water cost increase

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Tucson city officials are currently considering several plans that could lead to an increase in your water bill.

The most widely supported plan would increase water costs by nearly 27% over the next four years.

An increase that would cost the average customer an extra $285 dollars.

"I'm worried about people not being able to afford all of these increases," said Tucson city councilmember Regina Romero during a meeting on the proposed plan.

Under the details of the plan water costs would increase from 2019 - 2022. With a declining increase of around 7%, 6.5%, 6%, and 5.5% each year.

The base rate and reclaimed water rate would also increase.

"Understand that as this discussion involves we have to be sure that if you are conserving water you are gonna be rewarded," said Tucson city councilmen Paul Cunningham.

One of the biggest changes would impact low income users.

Right now people on low income assistance programs pay about half of their bill.

Under the new plan, those same customers would be given the base rate plus around 1,500 gallons for free.

Officials say the change would cost Tucson water an extra $325,000 in the first year of the program.

"I think it sends the wrong message to say we are going to give away to hundred cubic feet of water to people. There's are other ways we can address our low income users without sending the message that water is free in the desert.," said councilmember Steve Kozachik.

Two public hearings on the proposed plans have been scheduled.

April 5 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Miller-Golf Links Library (9640 E. Golf Links Rd.)

April 10 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Tucson Parks and Recreation Building (900 S. Randolph Way)

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