Letter: Increases are a drain on residents



My current two-month utility bill from the city of Washougal totaled $174.60. My recent history of increases for two-month periods: 07/03/09, $87.94; 01/06/10, $106.06; 03/04/11, $144.57. The fees have increased just short of 100 percent in 2 years, mostly for stormwater and sewer.

It is my opinion these increases are tied to foreclosures and unemployment. It is also my opinion that the banks now owning foreclosed properties should be billed for stormwater treatment and sewers, just omit the water usage.

There was a time when there was no such thing as stormwater and sewer fees. What a boon for the cities. Also, in my opinion, these are excessive charges. I have never seen anyone working to clear a blocked sewer. Once they are installed they work pretty well.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe new sewer lines are paid with property taxes, by homeowners if they extend lines in the city limits, and by developers. Aren’t treatment facilities built with bond issues?

Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire’s government is allowing counties and cities to charge these excessive fees with no recourse for taxpayers. They cannot be deducted from income as a tax. No citizen gets to vote against them, therefore it’s a form of taxation without representation.

Ruth J. Landen