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Stockton City Council Approves Water Rate Increase

  

UPDATE: March 30, 2016

The Stockton City Council approved a water rate hike for 49,000 Municipal Utilities Department customers. The council voted to raise rates by 26 percent this July, followed by a 5.5 percent increase in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Rates will continue to go up 3 percent per year for the next three years. The Stockton Municipal Utility District said it has fallen short by $3 million in the last two years of the drought as customers conserve water.

Stockton water rates could jump more than 25 percent this year along with smaller rate increases over the next two years. The city council will vote on the rate increase Tuesday.

Original:

Stockton water rates could jump more than 25 percent this year along with smaller rate increases over the next two years. The city council will vote on the rate increase Tuesday.

It's blamed on a drop in water revenue because Stockton residents increased their conservation efforts during the drought, cutting water use by 30 percent.

Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva says he won't vote for the increase.

"I just think Stockton residents have been taxed enough, so the last thing I want to do is raise taxes," says Silva.

Bob Granberg heads Stockton's Utilities Department

According to Granberg, the city has made cuts in other areas but not enough to offset losses.

He says, "Planned on increasing revenue over time but with the drought and our waters sales declined, we had to look to our revenue requirements going forward."

If approved, the increase would take effect in July.

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Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio