Red Emma’s Hosting Town Hall Tonight to Discuss Water Rates, Shutoffs and Tax Lien Sales


By Ethan McLeod, Baltimore Fishbowl

Tired of seeing your water bill rise dramatically? Concerned about the city’s practice of shutting off water service, or using tax sales to generate revenue at the expense of poor home owners? You’ll be in good company tonight.

Red Emma’s Café and Bookstore in Station North is hosting a panel discussion this evening on water affordability in Baltimore City. The discussion will focus on ways to reform how the city administers water, such as using income-based water rates instead of flat ones, or forgoing steps that drastically reduce poor residents’ quality of life.

One issue affecting everyone is the water rate, which has more than tripled since 2000, according to nonprofit Maryland Food and Water Watch, and just entered the second year of a three-year, 30 percent rate hike designed to subsidize overhauls of the city’s sewer system and water mains.


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