No, there has been no decline in Chicago’s ability to collect water revenue

The city has one of the highest collection rates in the country at 96%, which has not declined since the elimination of water shut-offs.

SHARE No, there has been no decline in Chicago’s ability to collect water revenue

Martin Gernetti/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Sun-Times published an article titled “Chicago water bill collections plummet without threat of shut-offs.” The story was patently false and not supported by data. 

The article states that there was a $20 million decline in water revenues in November. However, this seasonality in collections happens every year. This reduction is due to non-metered residents paying their bills semi-annually, with one of those payments happening in October, not due to lower collection rates. This was information that the city comptroller’s office communicated to the Sun-Times, but the paper ignored. 

The city has one of the highest collection rates in the country at 96%, which has not declined since the elimination of water shut-offs. This is the relevant statistic that should be monitored. 

Ending water shut-offs is the right choice for many reasons. By making water more affordable for low-income residents, over time the city will actually improve collection rates on delinquent accounts. A University of Michigan study found that households are willing to pay what they can afford and that financial assistance has helped low-income residents make monthly payments, which improves city revenues in the long run. 

Water revenues are secure for the MEABF payment. The water-sewer tax that was levied for the Municipal Employee Annuity Benefit Fund actually exceeded annual budgeted amounts for the employer pension contribution requirement. These incremental revenues will help support the city’s pension payments in the years to come. 

There is no evidence to show the elimination of water shut-offs has materially reduced our collection rate on water. The Sun-Times’ reporting on this issue isn’t just wrong, it’s irresponsible. Going forward, the city will continue to provide all of the relevant data that tells the full story on important city functions and reforms which affect the lives of all of our residents.

Jennie Bennett
Chief Financial Officer
City of Chicago

SEND LETTERS TO: Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

DNC putting 2020 election at risk

Almost overnight, the DNC has tried to consolidate their power to keep Bernie Sanders out of the White House.

Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke bowed out in order to make way for Joe Biden, a man who just won his first primary in all the three times he has run for president.

Several representatives and senators, including Tammy Duckworth, have endorsed Biden as well. Instead of letting the people decide, they are going to rig this election again.

They are putting us dangerously close to a repeat of the 2016 election. If the same thing happens again, the DNC should be held responsible for Donald Trump’s win as well as all his policy.

The DNC will be held responsible for kids being ripped from their parents’ arms at the border. They will be held responsible for the next gun massacre.

They will be held responsible for millions dying from lack of insurance or inability to pay. They will be held responsible for Trump’s international assassinations which leads to our troops being in danger.

They will be held responsible for the continued mass incarceration of our black and brown brothers and sisters. They will be held responsible for the continued devastation of our environment.

The only clear path out of this insanity is to vote for Sanders and to fight like hell for the policies and ideals that we want.

The power of the people is stronger that the people in power.

Sanders’ army is not going anywhere. The DNC and their appointed candidate will be held accountable.

Rosemary M Callahan, Northbrook

The Latest
Amid the warfare and the love story and the possibility of a prophecy fulfilled, the sci-fi sequel finds room for a telepathic fetus and voracious sand worms you can ride.
First elected to Congress in 2008, Foster is a former Fermilab physicist known to fellow Democrats as the “science guy.” Rashid is a Naperville human rights lawyer.
Incumbent Commissioner Tara Stamps has less campaign money than her Democratic challenger, but has the blessing of County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

The 25-year-old was found about 10:35 p.m. inside a first-floor apartment in the 6500 block of South Greenwood Avenue with a gunshot wound to the face. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.