Legislation capping Johnson City’s outside water and sewer rates at a 50 percent increase of the rate charged to city customers was the focus of state-level debate and scrutiny on Wednesday.
Concerns have been raised about the constitutionality of the bill filed by state Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville, as well as the effect it might have on Johnson City residents and numerous other localities.
The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) was asked by state lawmakers to study Hill’s legislation stemming from a complaint by a Johnson City water customer living in the unincorporated Piney Flats area of Sullivan County.
The customer, Thomas Hubbard II, enlisted Hill’s help earlier this year and charged Johnson City’s outside rate is excessive. The bill, according to Hill, would affect about 600 water taps.
Hubbard had called Johnson City’s rate structure “a rape and pillage process” to induce unincorporated residents to request annexation.Read more in the Thursday print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.