WSSC FY 2017 Spending Control Limits Debated

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The fiscal year 2017 budget limit for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is currently under review by the Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils. The Councils have each given a preliminary endorsement of a 3.5 percent water and sewer usage rate increase for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016. Additionally, the proposal would continue a second year phase-in of increased infrastructure renewal fees.

The Commission has sought the fee increases to counterbalance declining water usage. If these proposals are finally adopted next spring, WSSC’s revenues for FY 2017 would decline by $7 million for usage rates, while increasing nearly $19 million for the infrastructure renewal fee. Overall revenues for the Commission would increase by 2 percent. The impact on individual members would vary based on water usage and meter size.

Proposed rate increases remain highly controversial among Council members, with several members calling for the Commission to expedite consideration of a rate design study. Several Prince George’s Council members particularly object to the current rate structure design that increases rates for total water usage as amounts used increase. We will continue to closely monitor the impact of WSSC’s budget on our members’ rates.