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Bill Would Cap Sewerage Authorities’ Ability To Raise Funds for System Repairs

January 4th, 2018 by

Source: Flickr user -luz-

A bill currently scheduled for a vote in the Assembly would restrict the ability of sewerage authorities to raise rates to cover the cost of system repairs and upgrades. The bill, A5339/S848, which the state Senate has already passed, would limit the rate increases that large regional sewerage authorities can impose to 2 percent per year. While many costs are exempted from inclusion in this rate-increase cap, the costs of repairs and upgrades are not.

New Jersey Future has sent a letter to all Assembly members, stating its opposition to the bill and urging them to vote against it. The letter acknowledges that the state of New Jersey’s water and wastewater infrastructure is in great need of repair, and that many ratepayers are financially not able to absorb large rate increases. However, this bill may actually increase costs to consumers, by limiting a sewerage authority’s ability to fund regular system maintenance and thus increasing the risk of costly breakdowns needing emergency repairs. The problem of aging water infrastructure in New Jersey needs a comprehensive solution, the letter finishes, which this bill does not provide.

Read the full letter.

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