Questions about Water Rates
Federal and State mandates associated with the Safe Water Act, repayment of bonds issued for improvements to the system, bond sale conditions, and the need to set aside reserves for future improvements all contribute to the cost of water and sewer services. The cost of chemicals required to treat the water and wastewater and the cost-of-living-adjustments given City employee are also taken into consideration when the rate schedules are developed.
A comprehensive financial analysis was completed recently for the City water and wastewater systems. The need for future improvements, growth expectancies, and availability of grant funds were all taken into account in that study. The Public Works and Streets Commission reviewed the rates and made recommendations to City Council. A new rate structure was adopted following that analysis. For those rates see Water Service Information.
Cities having large seasonal populations must maintain a larger water and sewer system than would normally be required by the year-round residents. In order to meet the higher seasonal demand on our services we have to keep this larger system in operation the entire year. Yachats has many residences that are used for only a few months during the year. If these customers do not contribute a monthly base rate to pay for the upkeep of the system the City could not afford to maintain the system in order to meet the higher demand in the summer months. Thus, it is our policy to require that all customers pay a monthly base rate and share equally in the cost of maintaining the system.
However, while it is necessary to maintain a larger system than would be required by the full-time residents, this is off-set by other benefits the property owners realize from having the large tourist population. Room taxes, which are paid by the tourists, currently account for a large percentage of the income funding the general administration of the City. This income is also used to help fund the streets, parks, Commons, museum, and library. These are all services that are used by the citizens and property owners as well as those tourists. The bed taxes are a way to ensure visitors help pay for the things that benefit them. In this way the property owners are not completely financially responsible for those improvements and services.
Because the majority of income for the City of Yachats is derived from the above mentioned sources the property owners benefit from an extremely low tax rate. While your property tax bill includes amounts for the county, fire district, hospital, schools, and various other services, each year the City of Yachats raises only $32,000 through general property taxes.
Water Conservation City of Yachats