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

Senator Brian P. Stack, D-Hudson and Vice Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, listens to testimony before the budget panel.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by State 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 released today from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

“This will provide much needed relief for those near or below the poverty line,” said Senator Stack (D-Hudson).  “Sewerage service is a basic necessity, and we must make it as affordable as possible for low income New Jerseyans.”

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 was released from committee with a vote of 13-0 and next goes to the full Senate for further consideration.