News Feature | March 6, 2018

Paying In Pennies: New Form Of Ratepayer Protest

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome


A Florida woman has invented a new way to protest her water bill while potentially irritating her water utility: She decided to pay in pennies. 

Dana McCool of Deltona chose to pay her bill of $493 dollars in pennies, according to Fox News. That meant forking over 49,369 copper coins.

“This is how we peacefully protest,” she said in a Facebook Live video, per Fox News. The video went viral, according to the report. 

“McCool posted her penny dropoff at the utility’s customer service office on Facebook, along with an explanatory video, in which she accuses Deltona Water of gaslighting its constituency,” The Miami Herald reported.

“McCool said that when she questioned the cost of her bill, city officials told her that she had a water leak in her home. She says in her Facebook video that many other residents have been unfairly fined for this problem,” The Palm Beach Post reported.

The protest followed “problems stemming from 2016 after she received several bills as high as $700 for about six months, way above the average costs of around $40,” Newsweek reported.

McCool encouraged viewers of her video to scour their water bills, as well. “I just hope that other people examine their water bills and know that they are not alone,” she said.

“Each of those pennies represent a resident that needs a voice,” she said.

McCool added that water personnel have been kind and professional about her protest, and that her grievances are with management, not workers.

“The staff at Deltona Water are said to have taken more than three hours to count all the pennies handed in by McCool,” the report said.

Officials told The Palm Beach Post that ratepayers can work with the city to find leaks if they are concerned about the cost of their bills.

Image credit: "Pennies," slgckgc © 2011, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: