Los Angeles Set to Double Sewer Fee Over Next Four Years

After receiving approval from the City Council, sewage costs for Los Angeles residents will climb fourfold over the next four years. A total of eleven council members, including Monica Rodriguez, Imelda Padilla, Kevin de León, and Heather Hutt, voted in favor of the rate increases, while four members cast opposing votes.

The latest wage package for municipal workers, endorsed by Mayor Karen Bass and the council, would cause labor expenditures to grow 24% over the next five years. These increases are necessary to cover the increasing cost of construction and supplies. Since the council halted discussion of additional fees in 2020 due to COVID-19, Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky pleaded with the council to approve the series of hikes.

The city’s approximately 850,000 parcel owners will be informed of the rate hikes since they are classified as property user fees under Proposition 218.

According to the municipal authorities, the fee rise will be unsuccessful if the majority of people protest. A typical single-family home’s biweekly sewage payment could rise from $35 to $140, quadruple the present cost by July 2028, according to the city’s plan.

Business groups accused the city of not providing sufficient justification for the fee increases. According to Daniel Yukelson, executive director of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, landlords were unable to increase rents for a number of years due to COVID-19 and are now facing other rising costs. The head of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, Stuart Waldman, criticized the price increases as being “rushed” and said that authorities could have done more to inform the public.

The cost hikes would affect the city’s general budget, which covers essential services like police and fire, even though the money generated from the fees may only be used for sewer-related activities. The rate rises will fund improvements to the city’s aging sewage pipes and other infrastructure, which will also assist in appeasing organizations that evaluate the viability of the bond projects.