Baltimore’s people need Water Bill Relief now. In 2015, more than half of the outstanding water bills in Baltimore were debts owed by corporations. In a City where people’s homes are at risk of foreclosure due to unpaid water bills, it is unconscionable that our leaders don’t pursue the debts owed to our City by corporations.
We belong in a City that helps its people, not deadbeat corporations –– Baltimoreans need predictable, affordable water bills, and assurance that our homes are not at risk.
Nearly 11,000 homes were sent to tax sale in 2017 –– more than 70% of which were triggered by past due water bills –– and it only takes $750.00 for the City to sell your home to collect their money.
What We Can Do
It’s time to stop using public money from taxpayers and lifelong Baltimore City residents to bail out corporations who capitalize on a City that doesn’t collect from corporate debtors.
Some of Baltimore City’s leaders are on the right track, but more can be done for the people of Baltimore:
- First and foremost, we must stop foreclosing on people’s occupied homes for outstanding water debt –– seniors and other Baltimoreans on fixed incomes do not always have the financial flexibility in case of an unexpected or inaccurate utility bill.
- Secondly, we must stop turning off people’s water access during the school year. Jurisdictions where students lack access to clean, drinkable water report higher incidences of dyslexia and other learning disabilities, as well as poorer test performance and school outcomes.
- Thirdly, we cannot continue to use public tax money from Baltimore City Residents to bail out big businesses who refuse to pay their water bills.
- Finally, we need to hold our City to a higher standard for quality of water in rental properties. Baltimore should be the vanguard of lead poisoning prevention to ensure better health outcomes for our people.