Palmetto utility fee hike wrong way to fund infrastructure

October 13, 2013 

Utility rate increase in Palmetto: Ask yourself why?

With all things governmental, there is never a case where the government in charge takes a serious look at what they are spending rather than how they can extract more money from its citizens.

The infrastructure of Palmetto is old and needs upgrading. This is a given; however, the money should come out of capital funding in the budget.

Increasing fees is an underhanded way of raising taxes without public approval. If the increase would be temporary, I might find it acceptable but we know that it is permanent.

Remember cross connect/backflow prevention? We paid for that for over 10 years before the changeover began and it was to be a temporary fee until the installations were complete.

The city budget needs to be reviewed in earnest and that goes for the capital budget as well. Priorities should be assigned to infrastructure projects that have a direct impact on public health or safety.

This does not mean cosmetic improvements to the city properties. It means water, sewer, storm drainage, etc.

With limited ability to raise property taxes, the utility fees are an easy way to accomplish those things that better planning and budgeting would accommodate in a more appropriate manner.

Philip A. Guercio


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