More than a few Montlclair Patch readers have asked how water and sewer bills are calculated, noting that the most recent bills seem outrageously high.
These same readers wonder why these bills can't be included in the overall tax bills.
According to the Township of Montclair, water and sewer bills are determined by usage and are paid to the Water Bureau and Sewer Utility, established a few years ago.
When water/sewer costs were included in tax bills, low volume users of the system were essentially subsidizing higher volume users of the system—meaning residents subsidizing businesses and other large enterprises.
Former Township Councilor Nick Lewis explained that the water and sewer bills are not included in your taxes because they are paid to two utilities that the town created several years ago to operate those functions.
He noted that these utilities are required by law to be self-liquidating and that the water rates are among the lowest in Essex County and may be among the lowest in New Jersey.
The actual water bill is based on usage so that a signifcantly leaky faucet or toilet could impact your bill.
What do you think of your water/sewer bills? Do they seem extraordinarily high? Tell us in the comments section below or email Shelley@patch.com.