Governor Tate Reeves has signed a bill into law guaranteeing water billing rates throughout the state will be applied solely on the basis of consumption.
House Bill 698, authored by Rep. Shonda Yates, I-Jackson, prohibits municipalities from charging residents for water based off of the property value of one’s home, also known as equity billing. Instead, citizens will be charged based on the amount of water consumed, or used, in the home.
“Water bills based on property values squeeze the middle class,” Reeves said. “Americans are already paying more for just about everything thanks to inflation stemming from Washington’s wasteful spending – their wallets are stretched thin. They can’t afford to pay more for the home they already own. Water bills will continue to be based on personal consumption – just like what is being done throughout the rest of the country.”
The bill was written in response to a proposal from Jackson’s interim third-party water manager, Ted Henifin, to implement the equity-based billing system, which he says would reduce the monthly cost of water for lower-income residents in the city.