Council to consider utility bill assistance for poor
Water and sewer rate increases will go into effect for Sacramento residents July 1, but before they do, the City Council will consider a plan to help low-income families pay steadily rising utility bills.
Department of Utilities staff will outline details of a subsidy program Tuesday that would reduce monthly utility bill increases by almost 90 percent for more than 16,000 low-income families in the city.
The projected water rate increase for a single-family home is $3.44 per month, and the proposed subsidy would credit a qualifying low-income household $3. For wastewater rates, the increase is projected to be $2.36, and the subsidy would be $2.
According to the staff report, revenue generated through the 11 percent general tax on utility rate revenues would be used to create and operate the assistance program.
The plan is in the early stages, however, and before any assistance program can begin, council members will have to consider the startup costs, how long they want the program to remain in place and what to do if the number of participants outpaces the subsidies available for the program.
The City Council will take up the item at 2 p.m. Tuesday during the first of two budget-related council meetings at City Hall.
Here is the Utilities Department staff report:
Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for THe Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCorker.