MORRIS COUNTY — Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) has submitted legislation in Trenton that would stabilize water and sewage fees for senior citizens and the disabled.
The bill would amend current law to allow any county and municipal sewerage authorities, as well as water purveyors, to reduce or stabilize fees to users of the water or sewerage systems 65 years or older.
DeCroce said the bill help offset increasing property taxes in New Jersey.
“There are so many ways that the state and local governments reach into the pockets of homeowners and renters in New Jersey besides property taxes,” said DeCroce. “All those added taxes and fees add up and make New Jersey unaffordable for many, especially for retired people. The state legislature must begin addressing the hidden taxes and fees that no one talks about.”
DeCroce said stabilizing sewer and water fees would protect seniors and the disabled from escalating fees that she predicts will go demonstrably higher in coming years. “The history of New Jersey is steadily increasing user fees; rarely do we see fees going down,” added DeCroce.
The assemblywoman noted that with Congress poised to pass a $1.5 billion infrastructure package – sewer and water utilities will begin undertaking needed improvements to their systems. She said she fears that the costs not covered by federal funds will be passed on to ratepayers.
“The state cannot burden senior citizens living on fixed incomes with higher fees for essential services,” added DeCroce.