The agenda item scheduled to be presented to the Tallahassee City Commission on Wednesday reads “Adoption of the revised method for the CPI increases effective October 1, 2016 will result in a 0.9% increase in electric base rates, natural gas base rates, and water and sewer rates.”
However, the Tallahassee Democrat published a headline on Monday that read “Tallahassee Lowering Electric, Natural Gas Rates.”
What is going on? Why is the Tallahassee Democrat not reporting the increase?
It appears the City of Tallahassee has found a willing partner, the Tallahassee Democrat, in conspiring to mislead their utility customers.
It is clear that electric, gas and water and sewer rates are going up after October 1, 2016. The increase in rates are used to pay for budgeted items, such as labor costs which includes salaries, benefits, and raises.
However, the City of Tallahassee evidently convinced the Tallahassee Democrat to hide the scheduled increase in rates while reporting on a decrease in fuel costs. The City of Tallahassee has no control over fuel costs.
This lack of transparency is also evident in the way the City of Tallahassee bills electricity. Customer utility bills do not show the electric rates and fuel costs separately. Therefore, an increase in rates will not show up when fuel costs goes down. This is how the City of Tallahassee has hid approximately 15% in automatic rate increases over the last ten years.
Is the Tallahassee Democrat lack of reporting on the rate increase due to an inexperienced reporter or a conscious effort to conceal facts? You be the judge.