Mandated tax and rate hikes hit McCreary County water bills
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Photo By Derek Dobbs
Some McCreary Countians were surprised to notice increases in their water/sewer bills this month; however those increases had little to do with the local water district company.
McCreary County Water District Supervisor Stephen Whitaker explained some customers may not fully realize, beginning January 1, 2023, a state tax on all utilities, except those at primary residences, went into effect.
Secondly, Whitaker noted the Kentucky Public Service Commission required a 16% rate hike for McCreary County sewer services, effective during the last billing cycle. Whitaker noted the Public Service Commission originally wanted a 42% rate increase; however the local water district argued against the 42% proposed rate.
“The McCreary County Water District and Board went through a lot of hoops to get to a lowered rate of 16%,” Whitaker observed.
Whitaker did acknowledge the local district has, for the first time, added a late payment fee of 10%. However, he pointed out most utilities have always added late payments fees.
Finally, with an earlier snap of sub zero temperatures, many customers may have increased usage by letting faucets trickle as a way to keep lines from freezing. Frozen lines that burst during the cold snap may also have contributed to temporary increases in usage.
“As always, the McCreary County Water District will, as a company, do what it can to bear the burden for our customers,” Whitaker said. “We’ve always fought for our customers and taken care of them. We will continue to do that.”