By: Diane Benjamin
(I’m not having a good day and tomorrow won’t be any better!)
Water Rate documentation for tonight: PDF page 72: http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3230
Back when Normal wasn’t afraid of transparency, they posted the history of rates citizens pay for essential services. Luckily, I copied them: https://blnnews.com/2012/05/30/normal-il-what-is-up-with-the-debt/
Water rates in 2009 were: $4.95 per 1000 gallons plus $3.75 for maintenance
Proposed tonight is: $6.57 per 1000 gallons plus $5.99 for maintenance.
That is a 33% increase for 1000 gallons and 60% for maintenance in just 10 years!
The Town has raised rates far in excess of the inflation rate.
The documentation claims the average citizen (5000 gallons a month) will pay $9.24 more.
In 2009 that same citizens paid $297.00 a year.
In 2019 that same citizen will pay $394.20 a year.
Maintenance for the same 10 years is increasing $31.44 a year.
The total increase over 10 years amounts to $128.64 just for water. Not included are the increases to sales tax, sewer rate, storm water rates, garbage service, water reclamation district, gas tax (didn’t exist), and of course property tax rates.
Somebody on the Council will claim this is a small increase. The problem is the constant small increases to every fee and tax, they add up to real money. This is a small part of why housing isn’t affordable. Home ownership costs more, landlords are forced to raise rent to cover the ever-increasing fees and taxes.
The budget for next year is also in the documentation. (PDF page 64 and following) The Town projected the next 5 years. None of the charts have the current budget included for comparison.
The Town is planning to substantially increase their savings accounts (Fund Balance):
The General Fund is stable, the increases reflect fees like the one above. Obviously other increases are coming.
One more note:
Normal is likely salivating at Bloomington raising the gas tax so they can too. The budget claims they are expecting a decrease in revenues:
That begs the question: Why the decrease? Since the tax is per gallon, that means less gas is being sold. At .04 cents per gallon, $35,000 is 875,000 gallons.
Is everybody switching to free-charge electric vehicles?