New York American Water customers facing rate hike Sept. 1
There is a renewed push for New York American Water to halt a planned rate hike as its customers already pay some of the highest rates on Long Island.
Gilat Nahum, of Oceanside, says her water bill from New York American Water increased by about $65 to $215, and if the company has its way, it could go up another $10 as soon as next month.
"We pay high rates for what?" she says. "There's low water pressure, you can't drink the water. Our water is not clean, it's full of chemicals."
Nahum is one of more than 120,000 customers of the Merrick-based company facing a rate hike Sept. 1. It had originally scheduled the increase for April, but postponed it due to the pandemic.
Local lawmakers like state Sen. Todd Kaminsky wrote a letter to American Water and the state Public Service Commission, arguing the rate increase shouldn't kick in because the public health crisis isn't over.
"We're in the middle of a pandemic, the economy has not been that bad in decades and to ask people to pay more for a basic resource like water is simply unacceptable. It's not right. It's not fair," says Kaminsky.
American Water issued a statement, saying, "The fastest path toward significant rate relief is reducing the unfair tax burden levied on our customers. Taxes make up between 31% and 55% of our customer's bills – reducing that burden will provide true rate relief."
A spokesperson for the Public Service Commission says, "The Senators' request for a further delay in the rate increase will be reviewed and considered."