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Stack Bill to Allow Adjusted Sewerage and Water Rates for Low-Income Households Advances

Senator Brian Stack, D-Union, listens to testimony during a meeting of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Brian P. Stack that would allow local authorities and utilities to provide affordable sewerage service and water supply rates to eligible low-income individuals and families was approved today by the Senate.

“This will provide much needed financial relief for those near or below the poverty line,” said Senator Stack (D-Hudson).  “Sewerage service and water are basic necessities, and we must make them as affordable as possible for those struggling to make ends meet.”

The bill, S-276, enables county and municipal sewerage authorities, utilities authorities and sewerage utilities to reduce rates for people with incomes at or below a certain percentage of the most recent federal poverty guidelines, with the percentage set by the service provider. Municipal water supply facilities would also be able to offer a reduced rate to those who qualify.

The bill expands on current law which already allows local authorities and utilities to reduce or totally abate general sewerage service rates for persons who are 65 years of age or older or who are disabled and who also meet certain statutorily-based income requirements.

The bill passed the Senate today by a vote of 34-4.