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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 19, 2012 10:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Realtors urged to seal tax victory against City of Portland. The next post in this blog is Fowl play at the Coast. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Apples and oranges

Here's a pie chart that illustrates well the odd argument that the Portland water bureau has been making in favor of its massive rate increases over recent years:

Water is the barest necessity of human life, and in this case, it is provided by government. But somehow, as long as consumers aren't being gouged as badly as they are for private cable TV services, the city should be allowed to jack up the water rates as much as it wants? It's a line of reasoning that reveals a bankruptcy of sensitivity or ethics.

Comments (22)

Those rates are absurd. Who do the scum at the Water Bureau think they're fooling?
Lots of people have abandoned land line telephones completely. And we get high speed DSL, cell phone service and premium DirectTV at much lower rates.

Bonus points for doing the title in Comic Sans.

Portland Robber Bureau is more appropriate.

That's why the admiral wants monthly bills. He wants people to compare them to their other monthly utilities so they don't think they are getting stung. Question is, is it legal to send a bill for 1/3 of what is actually owed, without showing the party that owes it the total amount they owe.

Wow, the city utility's are high. Then add property taxes, State income taxes. No wonder Portland attracts the hand out crowd as the jobs flee!

Our city also does these inane comparisons on utility rates when they raise the fees for water, sewer, street maintenance, storm water, etc. My favorite is when they compare our rates to our neighboring cities, like Portland, to show that we still aren't the highest!!

OK, so then it's perfectly fine to keep raising our rates until we ARE the highest in the region?!?

Where's the pie chart comparing city employee total compensation for similar jobs in those other utilities?? The city will NEVER show you that pie chart.

So it is perfectly fine to charge more for the ONE thing no one can do without ...water!
Outrageous! and unfortunately the norm in Portlandia.

Hey it's not like the water just falls from the sky and collects in a gigantic natural basin that filters and stores the water. And it doesn't just get to your house by gravity without the need for pumps, nor does the local geography of a snow-capped mountain provide an additional store of freshwater. That's why we need to pay egregious amounts of money for this service.

Oh wait..

Randy forgot that air is free (just like water from rain, at least until they figure how to bill us for that) as a comparison.

1) Water is now more expensive than garbage.
2) No comparison to how other parts of the country (not other parts of Portland since they buy water from PWB) are
3) I'd like a pie chart on how much water money gets spent on actual water projects since we have the same reservoirs and pipes and water falls from the sky.

Well, I sympathize but they can't make new water out of thin air, it is a resource just like clean air or trees and it can be reduced severely.
Image each person born is essentially a water holding tank, the more and more that are born increases the need of an unsustainable resource, but then politics has to go and get all involved, sheesh.

Water isn't just a Core function of government anymore, it's a profit center, and a good one too: Captive customers, a product that everyone needs, and best of all, NO competition! The days of government in service of the people are gone, now it is we who who are the slaves. For anyone who still thinks government can handle basic services better than private companies who compete for your business can, welcome to your future. Why not just let it all go to private companies. What services do we really have to hold on to anymore? Anymore these days, government is just a thing that grows and devours everything in its sight - kind of like the plant in the Little Shop of Horrors. If government refuses to contain itself, then we have to do it for them.

"but they can't make new water out of thin air"

However, it does drop out of thin air and for free.

My college statistics professor would make me support those figures.

For me, no cable, no land line (which was $ 25 not $ 38), ISP=$ 40 short, TOTAL utilities are HALF of the denominator in these ratios.

Which make the WATER and SEWER rates OVER TWICE the percentage of total utility expenditures.

But it appears these ratios were learned from the same techniques used by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Manipulate BOTH the numerator and denominator until you get the desired ratio.

I had no idea I was so under-average, when it comes to things like electricity, gas, phone...oddly, we only have a 20-gallon garbage can, yet our rate's way more than their claim.

I just closed today for a really nice used double wide mobile home that has more square footage than my house, is in better condition and is in a beautiful woodsy part in Clackamas County. I paid less than 25K for it too. My space rent which includes water, sewer and garbage is about the same as I pay in property tax in Multnomah County. I have lived in Multnomah County for over 55 years, and now I am gone. FU to all the frigging liberal PC idiots. I am looking forward to becoming a Clackistanie. I have all the services I need within four miles of my new home, i.e, shopping, banking, restaurants, and all services. I am not moving for 60 days so I am going to vote for Fernandez. I really feel sorry for all the folks that have to stay in the city limits, you poor souls. You are going to get screwed through the next election cycle at least.

I can choose my cell provider.
My Internet provider.
My cable/satellite TV provider.
I even have some choice on my electricity and phone provider.
As soon as I have a choice on my water and sewer provider then I might take their argument serious.

Steve, that was sarcasm, because they do have equipment to make water, "out of thin air", the condenser in your A/c is one example.

I can't believe that more West Coast cities don't have rainwater collection statutes or codes or tax provision[?]to collect said water. We are on the receiving end of the worlds largest ocean, 50% of the world is to our west and filled with water to varying depths, go figure that as a pay-for resource.

Of course the water bureau hates that idea, like the electric company hates your surplus going back to the grid from wind or solar.......

That's the same tired argument the left uses for all their tax increases, fee increases, i.e., as they shove the broomstick a little farther up our, um, left nostrils. "It's only a few pennies/dollars more." "Look how insignificant it is compared to (insert apples-to-oranges comparison here)."

They've never heard of the straw that broke the camel's back - or they don't care.

John Benton:
Welcome to the Rebellion!

John Benton wrote: I just closed today for a really nice used double wide mobile home that has more square footage than my house, is in better condition and is in a beautiful woodsy part in Clackamas County.

Right on... May you enjoy your new home. Things are still pretty convenient out in the sticks. A perfect walking score isn't everything, when you have no choice but to walk.

2) No comparison to how other parts of the country (not other parts of Portland since they buy water from PWB) are

I don't have my bill in front of me, so I can't give the exact charge for the water portion. But here in Houston, I pay about $50 a month for a combined charge of water, sewer and garbage. Garbage is picked up twice a week and they will haul away anything that you can drag to the curb (including box springs). Just for one comparision.


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