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City Council Updates: Water rate hikes, pay raise for council and city employees

Tucson City Council meeting 8:10.jpg
Posted at 10:10 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 01:20:14-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Many changes coming to the City of Tucson after Tuesday night's city council meeting.

Tucson Water Rate Hikes:

Mayor and Council voted to raise water rates for Tucson Water customers that live in unincorporated Pima County.

According to city documents, the rate hike is to promote water conservation in areas that the City of Tucson doesn't have as much power in, open the door to opportunities for annexation and increase shared revenues.

All Tucson water customers in unincorporated Pima County will pay 10% more for water.

And residential customers will pay tiered rates for water use beyond 8-units, which is just under 6,000 gallons a month.

The differential water rates work similarly to tax brackets. You can find the rates here.

There will be a public hearing on October 19 for those impacted and the new rates are set to take effect on December 1.

Pay raise for City of Tucson employees, including Mayor and Council:

The Council also voted to hold a special election that would consider giving them a pay raise.

The mayor's salary would increase from $42,000 to $54,000 and City Council members' salaries would increase from $24,000 to $36,000 per year.

"I'm really disappointed with this process," expressed Councilmember Lane Santa Cruz before she voted 'no' to the special election.

Santa Cruz explained she felt undervalued. Her colleagues echoed her concern.

“We have this conversation every time this particular item goes to the voters. I know that just around this table, there are at least four of us that have to work,” said Mayor Regina Romero.

Ward 6 Councilmember Steve Kozachik, expressed the salaries did not match the level of time or importance the positions hold.

The special election will also include a vote that could bring the minimum wage up to $13 for City of Tucson employees in 2022. The rate would continue to rise until 2025 if passed.

The raises would go into effect on Dec. 23. Salaries would increase each year to adjust for the cost of living.

The Special Election will be on November 2.