Homeowners in Toronto could be seeing bigger bills for their water next year, if a recent city council proposal ends up seeing the light of day. The bill, which calls for an eight percent hike in water rates, and three percent raise in garbage disposal rates, across the board, means that some of the city’s key services could get more expensive for people with their own homes in the city limits.

According to CP24, “The average Toronto household paid $882 for water in 2015, so an increase of eight per cent would translate into an extra $70.56 on the average bill.” For garbage rates, the average bill could go up to about $10/year. While unsubstantial when seen in the grander scheme, Toronto’s already high costs of living make even these small increases harder on families in the area.

But homeowners, at least in single-family units, will simply just have to deal with the increases, not just now, but for the next few years, as regular cost increases are expected as part of the new budget, and a way for the City to generate revenue for the water system, and perhaps other projects.

The increase, of course, has been met with considerable criticism from people across the political spectrum. With some worrying about the increased costs and how they’ll affect lower-level income families, while others are calling it a hidden tax, one that may fund other aspects of the government’s spending that they may not support or deem necessary. Whatever the criticisms, however, city hall is pushing for the controversial increases in the 2016 budget.

Industry isn’t exactly getting an easy pass in the proposal, according to the released documents, as consumption limits are expected to drop in an effort to lessen demand and decrease the wear-and-tear on existing water infrastructure. The increases, according to The Star, are being put in place to pay for some much-needed infrastructure repair, including overdue repairs and upgrades to the storm runoff systems. Such upgrades, however, could be good for overall prices and the system itself, as many of the repairs have needed their upgrades for years, and ignoring them for much longer could result in much more costly repairs, and lower quality service, in a surprisingly short time.

So what does this increase mean for you? Well, if you’re a single family home owner in the City of Toronto, it means you can expect your water bill to increase, along with a slight adjustment to your garbage disposal rates. In exchange, you will probably see some more projects that are designed to help the city shed stormwater more effectively, and maintain the high water service quality that has become the benchmark of North American cities.

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