Kansas City Tax Fighters Warn Of More Massive Water Rate Spikes

Here's a worthwhile round-up of rising water rates and City Hall efforts to obfuscate the costs while asking for even more taxpayer cash. Take a peek:

2018 Water Rate Increase

Kansas City, MO. Residents water rates have more than doubled since 2009. Our city government is planning to raise them even higher beginning May 1, 2018. All previous increases were sold as the city needing to comply with the EPA mandate; the same mandate that the city has ignored for 30 years. Unfortunately, the money generated by this NEW 2018 rate increase will not go to the water department but rather into the city’s general fund to be used however they see fit.

The City’s water department is not really a department of the city. It is an enterprise fund-like the Airport-wholly owned by the city but (supposedly) run separately from the city. Water Services is actually 3 utilities (water, waste water, and storm water) managed as one. Money generated within the enterprise fund(s) has to stay within that fund-by state law.

Missouri state law does not allow city owned enterprise funds to be taxed. State statute prohibits KCMO from taxing the water department; instead, KCMO has instituted something resembling a tax but called something else in this case it’s called a: Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT). Proposed Ordinances 180137 and 180138 seek to raise the water and sewer rates of the KCMO residential and commercial ratepayers another 4%. This rate increase would go to the city’s general fund- not stay within the water utility as is proscribed by law.

In addition to this rate increase we found out that the city has been borrowing money from the water department.

In 2017 KCMO borrowed $10,000,000 from the water department to pay back the $10,000,000 it borrowed from the aviation department (but couldn’t pay back) in 2012. The city also charges the Water Department an exorbitant "shared services fee" for Human Resources and Administrative Services. This enormous fee of $14,000,000 equates to about $16,000 per water department employee. This hefty "shared services” fee gets charged back to the citizens of Kansas City through higher water rates.

We also learned that it cost the Water Utility $47,000,000 to move the water, sewer, and storm water lines for the 2-mile downtown streetcar line. All the KCMO residential and commercial water users will be footing this $47,000,000 bill for the next 23 years. The upcoming 4-mile streetcar expansion will require moving all water utility lines on Main Street and cost all KCMO residential and commercial users between $100,000,000-$150,000,000 for the next 23 years.

We believe it is time for the city to stop using the water utility as its personal slush fund. Water bills are high enough. The council should: Vote no on the above ordinances, tell the water department to lower the "shared services" fee and stop the water department from charging all the city residents for streetcar improvements. Streetcar expansion costs should be charged to those living within the TDD.

Please call and email your councilmembers and let them know.


  1. I have seen some really screwed up things in my lifetime but the inner workings of the city government of Kansas City Mo gets the grand prize.

    The streetcar has been nothing but a huge ass boat anchor around the necks of the residents in Kansas City that is slowly pulling them under along with unnecessary hotel and airport rebuilds.

    What happens when robbing Peter to pay Paul ceases to work when both Paul and Peter are broke?

  2. As water/sewer bills skyrocket, Kansas City searches for solutions
    By Lynn Horsley May 2017

    The outcry from residents has reached such a roar that a task force has spent a year looking at possible solutions. There are no easy answers, but the task force hopes to polish its recommendations at a meeting Tuesday, May 9. Those recommendations will go to the City Council, which oversees the water department and approves annual rate increases.

  3. sLIE has gone insane and he’s a effing drunk to boot

  4. "Residents water rates have more than doubled since 2009."

    Rates have more than QUADRUPLED. Mine used to be $40 every two months; they're now hitting close to $100 every month.

  5. ^^^^ mine too

  6. Guess I'll have to shower once every two months instead of once a month.


  7. This is crazy!

    Is sly really a drunk? That's gross, if he is, he smells!

  8. Audit the damn Water Department. The excuses as to why the Water Department can't have a through audit are just ridiculous.

  9. FACT :

    This Folks is just how Pathetic Degenerate Communist Democratic LIBERALS attempt to run things, what you just read right here as outlined above !!!!

    This is why your TAXES are always going up, rates going up constantly !

    This is exactly how the Communist Progressive Liberal Democrats run things, straight into the ground into total Disarray !!!!

    Complete & Total mismanagement, covered up with lies and SPIN and Bullshit !


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