A majority of Chicago's aldermen have signed on to a proposal to largely do away with water and sewer charges the city plans to start levying on nonprofit organizations next year, writes the Chicago Tribune.
Twenty-nine of the city's 50 legislators backed eliminating the fee for groups with assets of less than $250-million that provide "charitable, moral, health, education, safety, or similar social services." Chicago clergy have pressed for the water charge to be dropped.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration announced the fee late last year amid a battery of measures aimed at closing the city's budget deficit. The City Hall plan calls for charities to pay 60 percent of the going rate for water service in 2013 and 80 percent afterward.