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The FY2010 budget proposal submitted by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on Friday contained a number of fee hikes. Many of those are intended to fall on businesses, but there was one that will fall broadly on District residents: A “Street Light User Fee,” intended to “cover the costs associated with the operation and maintenance of streetlights in the District.”
Details of the fee have been reveled in draft legislation submitted to the council today: The fee will be assessed on your Pepco bills. Residential customers, under the proposal, will pay $4.25 a month ($51 a year); commercial customers will pay $16.75 monthly ($201 yearly), and all others $42 monthly ($504 yearly).
Now, the proposed legislation pumps all of this money into a separate streetlight fund to be held separate from the city’s general operating fund—-so there’s little danger the city will use your streetlight money to, say, pay for potholes. Also, the language provides that low-income residents can get assistance paying the fee from the city energy assistance office.
The D.C. Council, of course, has to approve this. Don’t like it? Call your home councilmember, and you might also drop a line to Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, who oversees the transportation department—-(202) 724-8181.