Rate Strategy for FY 2011-2013
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
HOW YOUR WATER AND SEWER BILL WORKS
MWRA is a "wholesaler" to its member communities. Each community sets its own retail rates for water and sewer use by local businesses and residents. MWRA's charges ("community assessments ") typically represent about 45% of the amount that communities bill their customers. The local portion of the bill varies considerably among communities.
MWRA PROPOSES LOWEST RATE INCREASE IN 14 YEARS
In recognition of the extraordinary economic difficulties that its member communities face, MWRA has proposed a 1.49% rate increase for FY 2011.
This is the smallest rate increase since 1996, when MWRA rates were offset by $31.5 million in Debt Service Assistance from the Commonwealth.
The low FY 2011 rate increase is part of a multi-year financial strategy
developed by MWRA and its Advisory Board. The plan also calls for
predictable, modest rate increases of 3.9% in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
MWRA will achieve these modest rate increases by:
- Controlling costs
- Reducing FY10 expenses below budgeted levels
- Eliminating all raises for union and non-union staff
- Cutting retirement system contributions
- Using a projected FY10 surplus to defease $23 million in debt
- Restructuring an additional $75 million in debt
These measures are expected to provide financial relief to member
communities while maintaining MWRA's excellent credit rating.
MWRA expects 2014 rates to be mitigated by a sizeable release of financial reserves.
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February 11, 2010