Darin Cook: Independent utility board would bring rate relief – Opinion – Gainesville Sun

It’s no secret that high utility rates are worse for low-income households, where a substantial portion of income is spent on basic living expenses.

But according to the Racial Inequity in Alachua County study, done by University of Florida researchers, high utility rates disproportionately negatively affect African-American utility ratepayers in Alachua County.

According to this study, African-American households in this county make almost 50 percent less than white households in income. This is a significant gap in income, and it’s high compared to the rest of the state and even the rest of the country.

On average an African-American household’s utility bill is 39 percent more than white households when compared as a percentage to total household income. Over 11 percent of an…

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