Chapter 3.63
UTILITY RATE RELIEF FOR LOW-INCOME SENIOR CITIZENS AND DISABLED PERSONS

Sections:

3.63.010    Definitions.

3.63.020    Rate relief.

3.63.030    Eligibility for senior citizen low-income and/or disabled low-income rate.

3.63.040    Claim filing requirements.

3.63.050    False claim – Penalty.

3.63.010 Definitions.

(1) “Direct billing customer” means a person or household who is directly billed for and responsible for payment to the city for utility service charges.

(2) “Income” means “disposable income” as that term is defined in RCW 84.36.383.

(3) “Indirect billing customer” means a person or household, who is not directly billed for city utility service charges, but pays for the services indirectly to the landlord, maintenance association or other third party. (Ord. 2549 § 1, 2004).

3.63.020 Rate relief.

(1) There is granted to persons who meet the qualifications and requirements of MMC 3.63.030 and 3.63.040 relief from the city’s water, sewer and solid waste service charges in the following circumstances:

(a) Direct Billing Customer. All billings by the city to direct billing customers who meet the qualifications and requirements of MMC 3.63.030 and 3.63.040 shall be reduced by 40 percent for sewer services, water services and the equivalent level of garbage service at one 36-gallon can removed weekly as prescribed by the city’s water, sewerage and solid waste rate ordinances then in effect.

(b) Indirect Billing Customer. All billings paid by indirect billing customers to the landlord, maintenance association or other third party who meets the qualifications and requirements of MMC 3.63.030 and 3.63.040 may apply for the 40 percent rebate for sewer services, minimum water services as prescribed by the city’s water and sewerage rate ordinances then in effect; provided, that such indirect billing customers may receive a one-time payment pursuant to the provision of MMC 3.63.040(1)(b).

(2) In determining the amount of relief granted under this section, the water service charge shall not include any consumption charges beyond the maximum allowable for the minimum water charge for indirect billing customers; nor shall it include solid waste rate charges beyond a single 36-gallon weekly service for directly billed customers. (Ord. 3215 § 1 (Exh. A), 2022; Ord. 2549 § 1, 2004).

3.63.030 Eligibility for senior citizen low-income and/or disabled low-income rate.

The occupant of a single-family dwelling unit, duplex, multifamily complex or mobile home park shall be eligible for the rate reduction under the following conditions:

(1) The dwelling unit must be occupied by the person claiming eligibility as his or her principal place of residence.

(2) The person claiming the rate must be the head of the household for the dwelling unit in question.

(3) The person claiming eligibility for the senior citizen rate must qualify in one of the following categories:

(a) Low-Income Senior Citizen. “Low-income senior citizen” means a person who is 62 years of age or older and whose total income including that of his or her spouse or co-tenant does not exceed the amount specified for the “very low income” level set most recently by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area.

(b) Low-Income Disabled Citizen. “Low-income disabled citizen” means a person whose income, including that of his or her spouse or co-tenant, does not exceed the amount specified for the “very low income” level set most recently by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area and:

(i) A person qualifying for special parking privileges under RCW 46.19.010(1);

(ii) A blind person as defined in RCW 74.18.020; or

(iii) A disabled, handicapped or incapacitated person as defined under any other existing state or federal program. (Ord. 3166 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020; Ord. 3120 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 3019 § 1, 2016; Ord. 2549 § 1, 2004).

3.63.040 Claim filing requirements.

(1) All claims for relief requested pursuant to this chapter must be filed with the finance department of the city during the time periods as follows:

(a) Eligible direct billing customers who file a claim for a billing reduction at any time during the calendar year shall be eligible for a reduction in their billing effective as soon thereafter as their claim may be administratively reviewed, and approved and processed.

(b) Eligible indirect billing customer’s claim for a billing reduction shall be made annually, and filed between January 2nd and February 28th of the year following the period for which the reduction is claimed.

(c) Claims shall be filed on forms prescribed and furnished by the finance department. Said forms shall require the claimant to certify his or her eligibility under this chapter. Upon being satisfied that a claim is in compliance with this chapter, the city treasurer shall issue a warrant payable to the claimant for the eligible reduction in the utility services as prescribed in this chapter.

(2) The finance department may publish rules and regulations to implement and administer this chapter. (Ord. 2579 § 1, 2005; Ord. 2549 § 1, 2004).

3.63.050 False claim – Penalty.

Upon determination by the city that any person has knowingly filed a false claim for utility service reduction, the claim shall be denied and such person, and all other persons residing in his or her dwelling unit, shall forfeit their eligibility for utility service discount. The city may pursue any lawful means of recovering the amounts underpaid by such person claiming a utility service reduction. (Ord. 2549 § 1, 2004).