Seemingly following in the footsteps of Detroit, Baltimore city administrators have given customers 10 days to pay their overdue water bills or face loss of water service. Residents and commercial tenants owe the city $40 million in unpaid bills.
Baltimore officials are trying to cut back on the problem of accounts going unpaid for months or even years. The Baltimore Sun estimates that a third of the bills due (about $15 million) are owed by 370 commercial tenants. Government offices and nonprofits owe close to $10 million.
“We want to make sure all of our citizens pay their fair share,” Rudy Chow, director of Baltimore’s Public Works, told the Sun. “When we don’t collect the necessary revenues, it causes us to raise water rates as a result. The citizens who are paying their bills are, in effect, subsidizing those who are not paying.”