A California city is moving to tax its residents for conserving TOO MUCH water.
“During the drought, many water agencies raised rates on Bay Area residents who used too much water,” reports CBS San Francisco. “Now, customers of the San Jose Water Company may soon pay more because they didn’t use enough.”
People responded to warnings telling them water was scarce by using less.
“We tried the best we could with a family of five,” one San Jose resident admitted to CBS. “It’s a little tough but I think we did OK with it.”
But because people changed their water use habits, the city’s water utility company found it was unable to fund operational costs.
“We don’t sell the amount of water that was projected because people are changing their behavior and using less water,” San Jose Water spokesperson Jayme Ackemann explained. “And because of that, unfortunately, we can’t cover our costs.”
Now the company is running a $9 million deficit, and is asking the city’s Public Utilities Commission to approve a surcharge of as much as seven percent, nearly $2 on average, to residents’ bills.
Residents interviewed by CBS did not like the idea of being taxed for doing their part during a water emergency.
“You know we ask our family our kids to be careful with the water usage, and now to hear that we’re gonna have to pay extra for doing that doesn’t seem to fair,” one resident said.
“Yeah, we’re going to punish you for doing your duty,” expressed another resident. “You know, making good on the environment and everything? I just don’t get it anymore.”
The company says they overestimated the amount of water people would use and “set the per gallon price too low,” according to CBS.
San Jose residents can protest the surcharge through April 18. If approved, the charge will begin appearing on bills starting July 1.