Proposed City Fees Will Add Up For Memphis Residents

(Memphis) Street lights.

You use them and you may have to soon pay for them.

Since the city has passed on the cost to Memphis Light Gas and Water, MLGW now wants to pass it on you too.

The utility is  proposing charging  $4.32 a month for homes and up to $19 for large businesses.

“The city should pay that. That’s why we pay taxes. I think that’s not really the consumer’s responsibility,” said Allie Mounce of East Memphis.

MLGW says legally it can’t subsidize the cost, so as of January 1st, it’s likely you will be paying something extra.

Those much talked about smart meters MLGW is considering to make power usage more efficient are free if you opt to get the meter at your home.

If you choose not to, and your neighbors opt in, you could pay a $9.13 opt-out fee.

The fee starts once the smart meter program is rolled out.

“Enough is taken out of our taxes to maintain the city’s upkeep,” said Brandon Jason of Whitehaven.

Memphis City Councilman Joe Brown said you have to consider each fee separately.

“I wanna minimize any fees because fees are taxes. I want to minimize the amount of fees, but if the fees have some type of Goodwill, I am for that,” Brown said.

Funds from a  $2.25 garbage fee increase will be used for updated garbage vehicles, 100 more hours of garbage service and will also give senior sanitation workers retirement benefits.

The garbage, street light and smart meter opt-out fee could cost you $15 or more a month, or almost $200 more a year.

“Of course nobody wants to pay more, but if it’s something that is small and reasonable and it’s gonna make a difference, it wouldn’t be that bad, right?” says Dionisio Torres, who lives in downtown Memphis.

Once these fees are passed, you could start seeing some increases by the first of the year.

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