Montesano Introduces Legislation to Lower Long Islanders’ Water Bills
Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R,C,I-Glen Head) has announced his sponsorship of legislation (A.8790) which will tackle the rise in water bills for New York American Water (NYAW) customers on Long Island. The legislation, which is co-sponsored by Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square), would exempt private water companies from property taxes and therefore reduce the rising bills their customers, 120,000 property owners in Nassau County, have been faced with.
“It is unfair for those who live in areas serviced only by private water utilities and have no choice between a private and public water provider to be stuck with such high water bills,” said Montesano. “They should not be made to suffer the burden of their water companies’ property taxes. With this legislation a balance will be created between those serviced by public or private water companies by allowing private water companies an exemption from taxes for their real estate. This will lower the bills of their customers who already have to deal with Long Island’s high taxes in general.”
Six months ago, the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) granted NYAW the ability to increase its rates, which range from 1 percent to 9.6 percent, over the next four years. With the Office of Real Property Tax Services making a considerable increase of 60 percent in property tax assessments, customers have been faced with monthly water bills that range from $500 to $700.
“Passage of this legislation would be a step toward lowering the bills of NYAW customers,” said Montesano. “Should it pass on the state level, it would then be up to the local taxing authorities to issue the exemption to NYAW. So school districts, counties and towns would be given the option to go through with this exemption should they deem it appropriate.”