Proposed Tyler water rate plan could have customers paying more

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Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 12:23 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 6:39 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - If the Tyler City Council approves the proposed fiscal year 2023 budget, Tyler Water Utilities customers would see an increase of at least $20 a month thanks to a change in the billing structure.

TWU aims to shift from a declining rate billing structure, where services become cheaper the more they are used, to a uniform “volumetric rate” structure where customers would pay the same rate regardless of utilization. As part of the new plan, the City of Tyler would no longer subsidize the first 2,000 gallons of each customer’s bill, meaning that customers will be charged for the total amount of water used.

If adopted, the new structure will be phased in over the next five years and Tyler Water Utilities customers would see an increase of about $20 per month in their bill. The increase accounts for approximately $12 that was previously subsidized for the first 2,000 gallons used. Additionally, stormwater collection fees will increase by about 1 percent. And an increase of $5.08 will be added for the regulatory compliance fee necessary to service the debt on the $250 million used to rehabilitate the city’s sanitary sewer system.

Overall, the Tyler City Council was presented with a proposed budget of $228.1 million for fiscal year 2023, with $26.3 million of that budget spent on capital projects paid for in cash by the Half-Cent Sales Tax fund. Property values were reported as having increased by 18.73 percent or an average of $40,928. However, the budget proposes a new, lower tax rate of about $0.26.

The largest appropriations from the budget would go to funding Tyler’s police and fire departments, with $34 million and $23 million, respectively. $1.6 million will go toward funding the addition of two new firefighters and two new fire engines. Meanwhile, $2.6 million over five years will allow for all police vehicles to be equipped with new in-car technology systems, as well as providing every officer with new body-worn technology such as updated body cameras and tasers.

Additionally, the City also allocated $200,000 to help transform blighted areas with substandard structures, as well as $100,000 for the removal of trees damaged in recent storm events. $1.6 million will be spent sealing 25 miles of city streets, as well as performing repairs on Tyler’s brick streets downtown.

Opportunities for public input on the budget are available by attending one of two Council meetings at Tyler City Hall, 212 N. Bonner Ave. on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 9 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 9 a.m.

Final adoption of the budget is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Sept. 14 meeting at Tyler City Hall.

To view the entire budget presentation, proposed tax rate and property tax calculator, visit www.CityofTyler.org

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