Along with the 30 percent property tax increase in the city manager’s proposed 2022-2023 budget is a 4.5 percent increase in water and sewer rates.
The City Council heard a presentation from the Water Resources Department on the proposed 2022-2023 budget for the department at the Thursday, June 9 work session.
The Water Resources Department operates as a separate enterprise fund, which means Water Resources does not receive revenue from the general fund and it’s budget will not be affected by the 30 percent property tax increase.
The proposed water and sewer rate increase, which seems certain to be approved by the City Council since no councilmember raised any objection to raising the rates, will increase the average bill for a water and sewer customer who is a resident of Greensboro from $49.19 per month to $51.40 per month for a $2.21 increase per month.
Greensboro water and sewer customers who live outside the city are billed at 2.5 times the rate of Greensboro residents and the average monthly bill for those outside the city will increase from $122.70 to $128.22 an increase of $5.52 per month.
Another 4.5 percent increase is projected for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
While Greensboro has the highest property tax rate of any comparable city in the state, it has the second lowest water and sewer rate. Of the top 15 North Carolina cities in population, only Burlington has lower water and sewer rates than Greensboro.
The Water Resources Department had $55.2 million in reserves in 2021 and at the end of this fiscal year that is projected to increase to $62.7, which means after all the expenditures to provide water and sewer service to its customers in the current fiscal year, the Water Resources Department is projected to make a profit of $7.5 million.
Assistant Water Resources Director Kristine Williams said that currently the Water Resources Department had a 15 percent vacancy rate and that usually the number of vacant positions in the department was 6 percent to 8 percent. She commended the employees in the department for wearing a lot of different hats and filling in when necessary.