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Tucson City Council approves controversial water rate increase

Customers living outside city limits could see a 40% increase on the bill
If you are a Tucson Water customer and live outside the city limits, your water bill is going up.
If you are a Tucson Water customer and live outside the city limits, your water bill is going up.
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 8:36 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 9:33 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - If you are a Tucson Water customer and live outside the city limits, your water bill is going up.

On Tuesday, June 22, the city council voted 7-0 to charge those living in unincorporated Pima County more for their water than those who live inside the city limits.

A customer outside the city could pay up to 40% more per month and the council said the change could bring in nearly $10 million more per year.

The increase will be graduated and hit those who use the largest amount of water the most.

For the average customer, those who use less than 5,236 gallons per month, the increase will be about $48 per year. Those who use more than 33,000 gallons per month could see their bill shoot up by more than $120 per month.

The proposal has been a point of discussion for weeks, but the council finally voted for it after putting it off to allow time for discussion and public comment.

Earlier in the day, the Pima County Board of Supervisors released a confidential legal opinion from the county attorney. It outlines the ways the increase may be legally challenged by the county and whether the process used by the city of Tucson violated of state law.

According to the opinion, which was released hours before the council voted, the city has a legal right to raise the water rates but they must be “just and reasonable.”

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