Powelson Sets Record Straight on Water Rates in New York
NAWC president and CEO Robert Powelson penned a letter to Newsday that corrected misinformation from Food & Water Watch about water rates in New York. Powelson clarified that the state’s unfair special franchise tax is the main driver of higher rates, not New York American Water. He also points out that Food & Water Watch fails to acknowledge how water companies’ strategic investment leads to higher quality water and that it is “shortsighted to think that only the federal government should employ resources and capacity to offer solutions.”
Read the full letter below.
Blame franchise tax for high water rates
Eric Weltman of Food & Water Watch recently wrote a guest essay that misleads our nation’s leaders into blocking the private sector’s involvement in water service and infrastructure improvement [“Nassau’s water lesson for the nation,” Opinion, July 26].
Weltman argued that private ownership by New York American Water drove up costs borne by ratepayers. The fact is that taxes account for 31% to 55% of the total water bill that Long Island water company customers pay. These taxes, including the special franchise tax, are set by the government and not by water companies. This unjust franchise tax substantially impacts water costs, not New York American Water.
Weltman neglects to acknowledge water companies’ strategic and growing investments that help ensure greater compliance with drinking water standards and higher quality water for customers.
As our country faces a growing water infrastructure crisis, it will require an “all of the above” strategy because the needs are too great for any single sector to tackle alone. It’s shortsighted to think that only the federal government should employ resources and capacity to offer solutions.
— Robert Powelson, Kennett Square, Pa.