SANTA FE, N.M. — Santa Fe has lost more than $2 million in uncollected utility bills going back more than a decade.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Saturday the city’s Public Utilities Department was forced to write off 11 years’ worth of customer debt, amounting to roughly $2.7 million.

The bills were for water, sewage and garbage and were for already closed accounts.

According to the city, the unpaid bills were considered uncollectable under the statute of limitations.

City officials say the main factor in the debt was a 2003 City Council decision to make tenants, not landlords, responsible for water bills.

Documents obtained by the newspaper show more than 11,000 unpaid utility accounts, ranging from a penny to more than $34,000.

The department’s billing division says it’s beefing up collection efforts.

Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican,

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