Last weekend the Herald ran an article (click here to read it) on the 2003
The Herald article points out that the cost for the voluntary metering program (click here to read the report) is heavily subsidized by the city (that means you taxpayers). The real cost of placement of these meters is around $300 to $600 or 100-400% more than the cost to the homeowner. However, since about half of the unmetered single family homes (15,000 flat rate customers) are putative rentals, that means that the city (again, you as a taxpayer) is subsidizing those properties which are being used as money generating entities by landlords, some of whom do not even live in the city. If the city charged all rental property owners the full rate for meter installation, it would receive at least $2,250,000 at the low end ($300 per installation). High end ($600 per meter) would bring in considerably more. Furthermore, after meter installation the true water consumption costs would be passed on to the consumer, i.e., the renters.
The city requires metering for properties involved in commercial enterprises. Why should rental properties be treated any differently? Why should you, as a taxpayer, subsidize landlords in their income producing pursuits? Why should an illegal rooming house with 4, 5, 6, 7 or more renters be charged at the same rate as the live-in property owner/family?