Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...

California is in the third year of a drought, so the Water Company has been urging us all to conserve--shave 13% off your usage or pay a penalty. As a water-conserving family--we let our lawn & garden die out long ago and have installed low-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads--it's been really difficult to find that 13%. A couple of months we have had to pay a penalty. Hubs is threatening to install a timer in the shower, especially for DD#1 who has been known to use all the hot water.

Overall, the customers served by our Water Company have done a tremendous job. So well have we conserved that the Water Company is going to reward us--by raising our rates!

Yep. We're using so much less water, that revenues are "too low" and have to be made up.

Caltrans is using the same logic on the six bridges spanning the Bay that are under their purview (the Golden Gate Bridge is under a separate district). Because of the drop in employment, increased use of public transportation and carpooling, toll revenues are less than expected. Never mind the fact that traffic is flowing more smoothly. Forget that the bonds that built these bridges,especially the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, were supposed to be paid off forty years ago and the bridge is supposed to be toll-free. Forget that the new Oakland-to-Yerba Buena Island part of the span still isn't finished and isn't likely to be for several more years (the Loma Prieta Earthquake that damaged the bridge happened 18.5 years ago).

No--revenue is down, so the customer/taxpayer must pay more! Including carpoolers, who now drive through free of charge. Forget the havoc this will cause during commute times, the long delays, the gridlock. The Bridge Needs More Revenue!

There goes my tax cut...