Small business owners upset over water rate hike
The new water rate hike throughout the Valley is having a big impact on local businesses, but now some of their added cost could affect you. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The new water rate hike throughout the Valley is having a big impact on local businesses, but now some of their added cost could affect you.
If you're not happy about your water bill going up by a few dollars a month, don't go complaining to business owners. Many of them say they're really getting tapped.
An approved rate hike by the Southern Nevada Water Authority will soon raise residential bills by about $5 a month. The Water Authority is raising rates to pay for improvements.
They're also bringing in less money since the recession hit. The Chamber of Commerce says the burden is heavier on the back of businesses than residents.
"It's really disturbing because we're struggling as it is," says Frank Miranda, the owner of Mexican restaurant Phat Phranks.
He's afraid his rent will go up when the rates increase.
"Because now, I'm going to have to in turn, change my prices for the consumers, and what's that going to do," asks Frank. "The trickle down effect is now going to hit even harder. So it's going to affect all of us one way or another."
The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce says small businesses will get hit the hardest.
"I mean we see businesses spending an extra $600, a thousand dollars more a month. That translates into jobs, salaries, concern about what they're going to do to grow their business," says Brian McAnallen with the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber argues instead of paying for the use of water, businesses will have to pay for each of the fire meters on their property, the water line coming into the building, plus what they already pay for water.
"It's going to discourage new job growth, it's going to discourage smaller businesses from hiring people, maybe making bonus increases," says McAnallen. "You're going to have a negative impact on the small business community that I don't think the Water Authority is paying attention to."
While small businesses wish the Water Authority would do more themselves, the Chamber of Commerce fears this is only the beginning of more rate gauges for small businesses.
New fees are expected to show up on customers' bills in May. The Chamber of Commerce says that will create new problems for businesses that don't know what their new bill will look like, or how it fits in their budget.