I don't understand why utilities are asking for or would be granted the right to charge ratepayers to fund capital improvements like replacing aging infrastructure ("Utility surcharge bill advances in Senate," Feb. 6). Haven't we ratepayers been paying for these depreciating assets all along over their lifetimes? Isn't it the responsibility of the owners (stockholders, etc.) to provide capital? Why should ratepayers be "taxed" to cover costs that are rightly the responsibility of owners?

Yes, ratepayers pay for it all eventually, but an up-front surcharge puts the burden on us now rather than over the life of the assets. Let the utilities finance improvements the usual ways. Aren't there any accountants or experienced business people on the Public Service Commission?

Warren Updike, Towson

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