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What Activists Don’t Tell You: The True Cost of Condemnation

Activists often make condemnation, a government takeover of a private water system, sound easy and straightforward with predictable costs. But, of course, the reality is much different.

One way in which condemnation activists mislead the public is on the true cost of taking over the water system. Recent reports show there is a vast difference between how much takeover proponents claim condemnation will cost and the real price tag.

Our new infographic, “The True Cost of Condemnation” highlights the data behind this phenomenon. For instance, in Felton, California, city officials initially estimated it would cost $2 million to take over the local water system from California American Water. When the dust settled, the final cost to taxpayers was $13.4 million, more than six times the original estimate. In addition, recent research shows that government control of the water system in Felton has failed to deliver the rate benefits that takeover activists also promised to customers.

From Montara, California, to Peoria, Illinois, and Charlotte County, Florida, the story remains the same: activists misled communities into thinking condemnation will be cheap and easy. But when the real price tag comes, the activists are wrong and customers get stuck with the bill.

 

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