TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce introduced legislation Monday that would freeze sewer and water rates for some New Jersey residents.
Her bill (A6044) would require that municipal sewer authorities and water companies stabilize rents, rates, fees, or other charges for the primary residences of residents ages 65 and older.
“Despite its higher cost of living than many states, more than one million seniors call New Jersey home. Many of them live on fixed incomes, and any cost of living adjustments are spent before they reach their bank accounts, often on healthcare costs,” DeCroce (R-26) said. “My bill would offer relief as water and sewer rates continue to rise.”
According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly 30% of New Jersey senior households have an annual income of less than $20,000. The average New Jersey household spends almost $800 a year on water and sewer services.
While municipalities with their own water and sewer services set their own rates, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities regulates rates for 13 water companies and 10 sewer companies, according to the most updated records. Companies often petition for rate increases when they make infrastructure improvements.