Chapter 14.16


14.16.010    Definitions.

14.16.020    Qualifications.

14.16.030    Applicant duties – Administrative procedures.

14.16.040    Rates.

14.16.010 Definitions.

(1) “Applicant” refers to any individual applying for a benefit, discount, or otherwise attempting to qualify as a low-income senior citizen or low-income disabled citizen as defined in BMC 14.16.020 and 14.16.030.

(2) “Gross income” includes any income that would be considered gross income under the Federal Internal Revenue Title, Subtitle A – Income Taxes, Chapter 1, Subchapter B, Section 61.

(3) “Household member(s)” includes any person(s) residing with the applicant.

(4) “Household” includes all household members as defined above, including the applicant.

(5) “Income guideline” includes the income guideline promulgated by the Housing and Urban Development Agency (“HUD”) and/or any deviated income guideline promulgated by the city administrator under BMC 14.16.020(3).

(6) “Standard rate” refers to the utility rate the applicant would have been charged if no discount applied.

(7) “City” refers to the city of Buckley, state of Washington. (Ord. 03-11 § 1, 2011; Ord. 04-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 24-06 § 1, 2006; Ord. 23-05 § 2, 2005).

14.16.020 Qualifications.

An applicant must qualify as a low-income senior citizen or low-income disabled citizen to receive reduced rate utility services. To qualify as a low-income senior citizen or low-income disabled citizen for any purpose under any and all titles of this code, an applicant must satisfy each of the following criteria:

(1) Residency. The applicant must have established residency in the city of Buckley and provide evidence of such accompanying application for rate adjustment.

(2) Age. The applicant must be 62 years of age, except that the age requirement is waived for the following applicants:

(a) Disability. An applicant qualifying for special parking privileges under RCW 46.16.381(1)(a) through (f), an applicant who is blind as defined in RCW 74.18.020, an applicant who is disabled, handicapped, or developmentally disabled as defined in RCW 71A.10.020(2), an applicant who is mentally ill as defined in RCW 71.05.020(1), or an applicant who is incapacitated as defined under any other existing state or federal program;

(b) Dialysis. Applicants who are under home kidney dialysis treatment;

(c) Waiver. The city administrator may waive the age requirement for any applicant with a serious disability or long-term illness if, after a reasonable investigation, the administrator determines that the applicant’s disability or illness is sufficiently debilitating to merit waiver of the requirement. In determining if waiver is appropriate, the administrator shall consider the following factors:

(i) The expected duration of illness or disability;

(ii) The physical limitations imposed on the applicant by the illness or disability as evidenced by a physician’s affidavit;

(iii) The applicant’s projected annual expenses caused by the illness or disability;

(iv) The impact of the illness or disability on the applicant’s use of the service or privilege being sought;

(v) The applicant’s ability to find employment;

(vi) The applicant’s alternative sources of income.

(3) Income. The annual gross income of the applicant’s household may not exceed 75 percent of the low-income threshold listed in the most current year’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) Official Income Guidelines for the Tacoma Area.

(a) Baseline for Income Guidelines. In the event a new HUD income guideline is not filed, the HUD income guideline low income for 2005 adjusted annually thereafter for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers for Seattle, Tacoma, Bremerton shall serve as the low income of the HUD income guideline for the purposes of determining if an applicant qualifies as a low-income senior citizen or low-income disabled citizen.

(b) Income Guideline Effective Date. An income guideline shall be effective from July 1st of the year it is filed with the Buckley city clerk’s office to June 30th of the following year. In the event no new income guideline is filed, the last income guideline on file with the city clerk shall continue to be in effect for each consecutive July 1st through June 30th term until a new income guideline is filed.

(c) Filing and Applicant Inspection. The Department of Housing and Urban Development income schedule shall be filed with the city clerk’s office by June 30th of each year, and shall be available for public inspection during business hours from July 1st of the year filed to June 30th of the following year.

(d) Change in Applicant Income. If the applicant’s income, or the income of an applicant’s household member, exceeds the posted income schedule at any time during the effective dates of the filed income schedule, the applicant shall no longer qualify as a low-income senior citizen or low-income disabled citizen and may be subject to the penalties set forth in BMC 14.16.030(1)(d)(iv). (Ord. 06-15 § 28, 2015; Ord. 03-11 § 1, 2011; Ord. 04-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 24-06 § 1, 2006; Ord. 23-05 § 2, 2005).

14.16.030 Applicant duties – Administrative procedures.

(1) Applicant Duties. If an applicant fails to comply with any of the following duties, the administrator shall revoke the applicant’s discount or other privilege granted because of the applicant’s status as a senior citizen or low-income disabled citizen, and the administrator may impose a fine as stated in subsection (1)(d)(iv) of this section:

(a) Provide Annual Income Records. Between April 15th and June 15th of each year, the applicant shall submit a copy of his or her 1040 tax form or an affidavit stating that income filing was not required due to income level, together with any and all requested evidence of the applicant’s income for the previous tax year. The applicant shall provide the city with the same information for every member of the applicant’s household.

(b) Inspect Filed Income Guideline. The applicant shall inspect the income guideline on file at the Buckley city clerk’s office each year on July 1st, or the next business day, or shall otherwise make himself aware of the current income guideline to determine if the applicant falls under the maximum income level.

(c) Notify of Change in Household Income. The applicant has a duty to inform the administrator if the applicant’s income level, or the income level of his or her household, at any time exceeds the maximum allowable income under the posted income guideline during the period the income guideline is in effect.

(d) Submit Annual Application. Between April 15th and June 15th of each year, the applicant must submit a properly executed, legible, signed, and dated form to the city of Buckley attesting to the following:

(i) Residency. That the applicant meets the residency requirement listed in BMC 14.16.020(1);

(ii) Income. That the applicant and the applicant’s household’s income level falls below 75 percent of the low-income level in the income guideline on file with the Buckley city clerk’s office;

(iii) Notice of Change. That the applicant will notify the city in the event of a change in any one of the above criteria;

(iv) Penalty Agreement. That if the applicant fails, whether intentionally or inadvertently, to report a change in any of the above conditions that would disqualify them for the discount/benefit, or fails to meet any of the above requirements, the applicant agrees to repay the amount of the discount/benefit. The applicant shall also agree to pay a penalty of 20 percent of the amount owing or a $25.00 fine, whichever is greater, following the failure to comply with any requirement of the above subsections;

(v) Exception for New Applicants. New applicants may submit the above materials at any time, but shall be bound by all the requirements of this title. The effective dates for new applicant discounts shall be the next billing cycle after the applicant is approved for the discount. In order to renew the discount, the applicant shall resubmit an appropriate application, abiding by the form, content, and timing provisions contained in subsections (1)(d)(i) through (iv) of this section, together with any additional requirements imposed by the administrator in creating and implementing the application process.

(2) Administrative Procedures. The city shall institute administrative procedures to determine whether a particular applicant is qualified for a discount under this provision, which shall include implementing an annual application process in accordance with subsection (1) of this section. (Ord. 06-15 § 29, 2015; Ord. 03-11 § 1, 2011; Ord. 04-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 24-06 § 1, 2006; Ord. 23-05 § 2, 2005).

14.16.040 Rates.

(1) The discounted rate illustrated in subsection (2) of this section shall be applicable for the following residential services:

(a) Residential monthly sewer utility rate;

(b) Residential monthly water utility rate up to 700 cubic feet;

(c) Residential monthly natural gas charges on utility rates up to 75 therms or 7,500 cubic feet;

(d) Residential monthly solid waste rate for one 32-gallon can or less, once a week pickup, including spring and fall cleanup;

(e) Residential stormwater utility rate.

(2) Discounted rate for qualifying accounts shall be determined based on the following:

Household Income

Percent Reduction

0% – 50% of the qualifying income


51% – 100% of the qualifying income


(3) A nonresident property owner may also obtain the reduction if the premises are rented to a qualified senior citizen or low-income disabled citizen and the owner certifies the savings are passed to the qualifying renter. Applicants shall not receive an increased discount for additional household members who would also qualify for a utility discount under the above sections.

(4) The discounted rate shall take effect on the first billing cycle following the submittal of the applicant’s application pursuant to BMC 14.16.030(1)(d). (Ord. 03-11 § 1, 2011; Ord. 04-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 24-06 § 1, 2006; Ord. 23-05 § 2, 2005).