08 February 2024, by Emily Proctor

Residents in two of the biggest Dutch cities could receive water bills backdated as far as 2022, as water providers race to catch up with old bills. Those living in Amsterdam and Utrecht could receive bills from 2022, 2023, and 2024 simultaneously. 

Municipalities expected to take until to 2026 to catch up with old bills

1,4 million residents of Amsterdam, Het Gooi and Northern Utrecht can expect to receive backdated utility bills in 2024, after the Amstel, Gooi, and Vecht Water Board (AGV) still needs to collect 653 million euros in unclaimed water bills from 2022 to 2024, according to NOS

The backlog came about due to a new and dysfunctional financial-administrative IT system that Waternet, which is responsible for collecting taxes for AGV, started using in the autumn of 2021. The region is now catching up on the missed bills, but this process is expected to last until 2026. 

Some residents have already received shock bills

Nobody likes to receive unexpected financial hits, especially from long ago. Nathalie De Graaf-Weijers told NOS that she recently received a tax assessment for her mother, who died in June 2021. “Two and a half years after her death, I had completed everything administratively, and then suddenly I get this…I called customer service, but they only indicated that I could file an objection. I will lose that because I am an heir.”

When asked about De Graaf-Weijers’ case, AGV said that this case is indeed an “annoying” one, but assures residents that they do not need to find the money all at once. “You can choose to pay it in one go or eight instalments. The terms of the different assessments can overlap. If people are paying off three assessments at the same time and it is too much, it is possible to make an alternative payment arrangement,” an AVG spokesperson told NOS.

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