Posts Tagged ‘tax’

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Richmond Water Rate Reformers Respond to Utility Report

Richmond water rate reformers had been eagerly anticipating the Sept. 17th City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities Report to Council (pursuant to City ordinances 2013-58-77 and 2013-61-79, study performed by DPU with consultant Ratfelis Financial Consultants). A copy of the study was finally earlier this month and is attached to this press release. Disturbingly, the report has not been worth the wait. It lacks substance and appears to be written to support the existing rate structure. At this point, City Council has asked it’s staff to review and make some comments and recommendations for next steps, which suggests that it will consider the issue further in the next budget cycle.
Citizens are urged to contact the press and their City Council representative and ask why the base charges cannot be further reduced and why the PILOT for federal tax is still part of their bills. 

Report lacks substance:
Pages    Topics
00-01    Table of contents
02-03    Executive summary
04-05    Purpose
06-09    Concepts
10-12    Reconciliation
13-13    Expenses
14-15    PILOT cost
16-20    Affordability measures
21-26    Low Income assistance

The only things new are some subsidy ideas, which are arguably not the purpose of DPU. There is no consideration for the relatively high base charges of $26.11 (which Mayor Jones only partially addressed last year) or the unlawfulness or appropriateness of the federal PILOT (payment in lieu of federal taxes, which, again, no private business pays to the City). In the report chart (page 3) showing how rates would change if this PILOT payment in lieu of federal income tax was eliminated, instead of showing a reduction in the base service charge, the report shows only a reduction in the volumetric charge. It does not justify the allocation of the charges to the base service charge vs. the volumetric charge.  (more…)