Proposed Tulsa Sewer Rate Increase Would Mean Additional $1.03 for Most

May 18, 2020

Most City of Tulsa residents can expect to see their utility bills go up $1.03 if the city council approves a proposed 3% sewer rate increase.

No water rate increase is being proposed for next fiscal year — or for most of the next five years.

"For the next five years, it’s 0% for the next two, a 1% rate increase in fiscal year 23 and then back to 0% for the following two years," said Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority Operations Administrative Manager Eric Lee.

According to TMUA, capital spending on the water system has improved it enough to reduce leaks and line breaks substantially, bringing down previously projected water rate increases. But the sewer system needs a lot more repairs and improvements.

"We’ve had two consent decrees in the past where we’ve been mandated to make certain improvements. We believe that some of these efforts that we’re making now into the next five years will keep us away from another future consent decree," Lee said.

A 7% sewer rate increase was on the table before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, then city officials decided to reduce it to 3%. Annual rate increases are still projected for the next decade or so.

The city council must approve rate increases.