New York American Water customers on Long Island are facing a looming rate hike, though some local politicians are looking to stall the price jump.
The Merrick-based utility company announced earlier this year that as of Tuesday, Sept. 1, its 120,000 customers will see an increase in their water bills.
The original rate hike was scheduled to take effect in April, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
American Water has defended the move by blaming it on taxes levied on its customers.
“The fastest path toward significant rate relief is reducing the unfair tax burden levied on our customers,” the company said in a statement. “Taxes make up between 31 percent and 55 percent of our customer's bills – reducing that burden will provide true rate relief.”
Some Long Island politicians are attempting to stall the rate hike, with three issuing a letter to New York American Water earlier this month asking them to stall the price increase as the state continues combating COVID-19.
“With our state in the midst of a pandemic and economic turmoil, it would be inappropriate and insensitive to raise rates on struggling Long Islanders, especially when water rates are already sky-high,” wrote state senators Todd Kaminsky, John Brooks, and Jim Gaughran.
According to the Public Service Commission, “The senators’ request for a further delay in the rate increase will be reviewed and considered.”
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