Someone has to pay for city sewage services, and Oakland homeowners are about to get hit with increases. To comply with EPA standards, Oakland Public Works has proposed 16 percent annual hikes – for the next four years!
Although the dollars are far from huge, the proposal is making its way through approval processes. As a single-family homeowner, you currently pay $267 and would fork over $483 by 2014. Increases would get pegged to CPI thereafter.
To put this in context, take a look at this summary of the operations and maintenance budget.
Our aging infrastructure isn’t a city secret. Like most Oaklanders, we can share rainy-day stories about neighborhood sewer overflows and pipe bursts. Even if you are sick of paying more for city services, check out this section of the California Constitution: “revenues derived from the sewer service charge shall not be used for any purpose other than that for which the charge was imposed.”
Recently, the City Council approved this latest round of sewage fees through 2014. If we understand what happens next, then there will be a “majority protest hearing” and you’ll be notified by mail. In addition, the public is invited to a special City Hall hearing – pencil in July 6th at 7pm. To learn more, please read this Sewage Charge report.