"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Have you looked at your water and phone bills recently?
No, I mean really looked at them…line by line.
Well, two of our viewers did that and what they found is both surprising and very troubling.
Mr. Wuertemberger was upset that while he was charged $8.82 for his water usage – a fair price –
his total bill was actually sixty-one dollars and fourteen cents.
In addition to his water usage, there's a "Sewer Usage" charge of almost $29.
So, it costs him three times as much to remove the water from his house as it does to bring it in.
You could argue that price is well worth it.
But, on top of those usage charges, there are additional "Water Fees" and "Sewer Fees."
And you probably heard, the Utilities Department just requested a rate increase which would cost the average user another 3 and a half bucks per month.
Finally, he's charged a ten dollar "Storm Water Fee," simply because it rains on his yard.
And here's Mr. Brock's home phone bill.
$15.60 for his residential line…not so bad.
But then, add a mandatory "Protection Plus" charge…
an "Access Charge Per FCC Order…
TWO Federal Universal Service Fees…
And so on until his $15.60 for phone usage ends up as a $36.71 bill.
The point is, in addition to all of the taxes you know about, you may pay that much more in "hidden" taxes, fees.
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.