Friday, August 25, 2006

Sewer Taxes Rise For Lots Of Reasons, Some Good, Some Weird. Take Fairfield, For Example...

Water conservation is a good thing, yes? In Fairfield, town residents cut their water usage by 5.6 percent last year; low flow plumbing was the main reason. That meant that less wastewater went to the town’s sewage treatment plant.

But apparently a homeowner’s sewer taxes are based are water consumption. So with less water going to the sewage plant, sewer tax revenues went down. The result is that the sewer district needs to raise taxes this year to compensate.

Got that? You save water and therefore you pay less in taxes; the sewer district’s tax revenues therefore fall, requiring them to raise taxes to compensate.

I learned that in this story in today’s Connecticut Post. It does a good job of explaining all the reasons – and there are several – why sewer taxes are rising in Fairfield.

One of the reasons is nitrogen reduction, which is part of the overall plan to end hypoxia in Long Island Sound. I like the attitude of Ed Bateson, chairman of the town’s Water Pollution Control Authority:

Bateson said taxpayers should know the town is well ahead of the state's nitrogen-removal goals for wastewater that ends up in Long Island Sound.

"Maybe I'm not happy about the rate, but at least I know I am generating a beneficial product to the public," he said.


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