Electric bills going up in Cape Coral to help the city pay off charter school debt

Published: January 26, 2022 5:11 PM EST
Updated: January 26, 2022 5:41 PM EST

If you live in Cape Coral, you will be paying more for electricity this year. That extra money will be used to help pay for charter schools in the area.

The City of Cape Coral believes charter schools add value and are worth the investment, but that investment costs more money than the city can currently afford.

Cape Coral is increasing electricity taxes to pay off the debt on its charter school buildings.

Cape Coral Spokesperson Melissa Mickey said, “the change will cost residents about $27 per year.”

Since 2013, Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) hasn’t applied a utility tax to customers’ first 500 kilowatt-hours each month. Effective April first, that is ending.

Cape Coral city leaders will have LCEC collect a tax on those first 500 kilowatt-hours on their behalf. The utility will tax every kilowatt-hour, increasing the average customer’s bill by $2.25 a month.

That new money will be used to pay the old debt down on the charter school buildings.

Mickey said, “there’s a K through 12 municipal charter school system. They’re part of the City of Cape Coral. No other single action taken by a city can improve the property value as much as a successful municipal charter school system municipality.”

Cape Coral city leaders discussed the changes throughout several public meetings before adopting a measure in October to increase electricity bills to raise the money needed.