Street Light User Fee?

park-view-streetlampMayor Fenty yesterday proposed to cover the $13 million it costs to operate and maintain the District’s street lights by creating a monthly “street light user” fee that would be tacked onto residents’ monthly PEPCO electric bills.

The fee would be $4.25 a month for residents, $16.75 a month for businesses and $42 a month for everyone else. As it stands now, everyone would pay the same no matter home size or income level.

To me, the concept of a user fee sounds crazy. Yet, whether its called a tax or a fee, in my face or hidden, the more I think about it I realize that if the City needs money, ultimately, that money will come from residents of the district. What I’d like to know is if there is a more equatable way to raise this money. Is a straight fee structure the most fair course of action? Do government buildings pay their share? How is revenue raised for police and fire department services?

So, what do you think, is this a good idea that’s getting bad press, or does Mayor Fenty need to go back to the drawing board? Jim Graham is in charge of the transportation committee that will be taking action on this proposal, so you can direct comments to his office if you’d like to go on the record.

Full WJLA article here>>

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One Response to “Street Light User Fee?”

  1. It’s all semantics. Whether you increase taxes, decrease services, increase fees. The devil you know or the devil you don’t know.

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