Sugar Land residents will start seeing rate adjustments on their first utility bill of 2023 in an effort to continue providing a high-level of service throughout the city while preparing to meet the utility needs of the future. These adjustments include an increase in water rate, decrease in their solid waste rate, and the introduction of a new stormwater fee to fund stormwater-related activities throughout the City.
Despite the change in fees, Sugar Land continues to have the lowest property tax rate in the state.
Your water bill is going up by about $7 a month as part of a three-year plan recommended by City Council.
This is the third year of a 3-year plan recommended by City Council in 2020 for rate increases to stabilize revenues for the utility and prepare for the 60% groundwater reduction mandate. During the first two years of the plan, bills increase by $10 each year. The bill will increase by $7 this year because of delayed requirements set forth by the state that gives the City an extra two years to build up funds.
Utility rates are the main source of funding for the utility system. If the needs of the system exceed the capacity generated by revenue (i.e. payments you make every month), then rates must be increased to maintain a financially sound, self-supporting utility system.
The rate increases are necessary to support the implementation of the recommended projects in the Integrated Water Resources Plan and sustain the operations of the system. Any future water rate increases will need to be approved by City Council.
Your solid waste fee is going down to $19.85 a month thanks to a new solid waste contract with Republic Services.
City Council has approved a new solid waste contract that will extend the City’s partnership with Republic Services to provide residents and businesses in the area with unparalleled solid waste, green waste, bulky waste, and recycling services.
The new contract goes into effect January 2023 and will include the addition of new technologies, more efficient solid waste routes, and a quicker way to get in touch with Republic for on-call services and inquiries. Here are some of the enhanced services you’ll receive with this new contract:
- Residents now have the ability to have 12 landfill bulk drop-offs in addition to 12 flexible, on-call bulk waste days and three holiday bulk waste collections at no additional cost.
- Enhanced customer service requirements
- Enhanced Republic Services app that will allow residents to schedule bulk pickups, report missed collections, and track their trash truck.
A new stormwater fee will provide a dedicated revenue source for one of the City’s most important infrastructure programs.
The new Stormwater Compliance Fee provides a sustainable and dedicated revenue to operate the City’s Stormwater Management Program approved by City Council in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget.
For background, the State and Federal governments require municipalities to implement best management practices that reduce stormwater pollution to the maximum extent possible. These mandates are not accompanied with funding from those entities, so stormwater-related activities are considered unfunded mandates for the City.
To remain in compliance with these mandates, the Stormwater Compliance Fee will fund pollution prevention measures, community education, drainage system operations and maintenance, and other activities to control the quality of water discharged to the City’s storm drains and waterways.
The average resident will pay about $3 per month or about $36 per year, but residents can use the “Find My Stormwater Compliance Fee Tool” for a more exact estimate of their anticipated payment.