BALTIMORE — Come July, Baltimore City residents can expect higher monthly water bills.
The Board of Estimates voted unanimously on Wednesday, making it official.
Currently the typical household pays $118.46 per month.
Starting July 1, the average monthly rate will increase to $122.22.
In July 2023, that amount will rises to $126.11 a month.
Then in July 2024, that monthly total bumps up once again to $130.21.
In all that's a nine percent price hike over the next three years, or three percent annually through 2024.
“For water it is 3 percent, for sewer it is 3.5 percent, and for storm water 3 percent, this will result in an incremental increase to the typical bill,” said Aaron Moore ,Interim Chief Fiscal Officer of the Department of Public Works.
Moore said the increase would allow for the new proposed funds to be used toward improving infrastructure, maintaining clean water, and attracting more people to the water industry.
These increased costs will be passed on to Baltimore County through City-County agreements, in which Baltimore County establishes its own water rates with city concurrence.
Some in the community pushed back on the board's decision to raise rates.
Rachel Cutler with JEWS United for Justice, is concerned about how this could impact lower income residents.
"The city must use ARPA funds to ensure that the water affordability credit is not counted as taxable income for low wealth tenets and multifamily buildings," said Cutler.
Meanwhile, Taylor Smith-Hams, the outreach senior manager at Blue Water Baltimore, wants the city to invest more in sewer infrastructure so residents aren't burdened with future backups.
"These investments will help protect our water waste from pollution, reduce the number of residential sewage backups, and ensure that Baltimoreans have support when they experience backups in their homes,” Smith-Hams said.