LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A community group is joining together to fight proposed water and power rate hikes in Los Angeles.

The group — which calls itself “Push Back The Tax” — wants to mobilize opposition to the Department of Water & Power’s latest round of proposed increases.

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports the group’s members have a simple message for the city: “we can’t afford it”.

Members contend that the DWP is asking for too much, and they want a moratorium on all fee increases until the department appoints a ratepayer advocate and allows a open review of their records.

DWP officials said they will need to raise business water rates by as much as 15 percent and power rates by up to 17 percent over the next three years.

“I certainly would by no means call this ‘massive’,” said DWP general manager Ron Nichols. “I think it’s a very well-balanced and very well-based adjustment.”‘

But the group’s opponents point to a 12 percent unemployment rate and the city’s failure to act more swiftly on the ratepayer advocate as the two most significant reasons to avoid the rate hikes.

Visit the “Push Back The Tax” website for more details on the campaign.