State Lawmakers to Consider Change in How Water Rates Are Set 11/29/12
CBS 7 News
November 29, 2012
The buzz in the Basin for quite some time has been that many homeowners think they’re paying too much for water usage—turns out, they’re not alone.
According to the Amarillo Globe-News, the Texas Senate Natural Resources subcommittee heard complaints yesterday that monthly rates in some communities in the Hill Country, Central Texas, and East Texas have increased anywhere from 108 percent to 300 percent in the last decade or so.
Several witnesses told the subcommittee that residents in small communities are paying much higher rates than residents of big cities and metropolitan areas because private companies—not large utility companies—provide the water.
Representatives from some of the water utilities in the state told the panel that, though they agree the rate-setting system needs some changes, the Legislature must also take into account the millions of dollars they have spent upgrading the water infrastructure.
On the recommendation of the Sunset Advisory Commission, lawmakers are expected to consider whether to shift the water rate-setting responsibilities from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission.
The panel will meet again after the next legislative session begins on January 8.