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Sewer Capacity Charge
The sewer treatment capacity charge is a fee for new connections to the sewage system in King County, Washington.
This sewer capacity charge has was first implemented in 1990 and levied on every new hookup established with the sanitary sewer system.
The funds collected are used for maintenance, improvements and expansion of the system network.
Sewer capacity charge rate
Property owners are billed on top of the regular sewage charges and would be reflected in the bill as a “Capacity Charge”.
The price per connection as on May 2019 is a monthly rate of $64.50.
This will be due from the homeowner for 15 years, or until it is fully paid off by the property owner.
Over 15 years, the total fees paid by a home owner who constructed a connection in 2019 would be:
$64.50 x 12 x 15 = $11,640
A discount would be rewarded for full prepayment.
The monthly charges also not retroactive.
This means that as pricing is revised each year after review by the city, a homeowner who signed up based on previous year’s pricing will continue to be charged that particular rate even if prices have been revised upwards.
In a way, this would be like an early bird discount.
When a house is sold
In property sales transactions concerning a house with sewer capacity charge, the buyer who becomes the new homeowner would be liable to continues paying the fees.
However, locals in the city have been wising up to this and often requests home sellers to fully settle the bill as a condition for closing.
While this is a matter of negotiation, desperate landlords and seller might be very open to such suggestions.
Sometimes, sellers willingly settle the capacity charge in full. Sometimes a buyer has no choice but to take on the obligation. Sometimes, the buyer prepays it off and the seller agree to a small discount on the transaction price.
There are various other possible scenarios. This is why it’s a point of negotiation between buyer and seller.
Buyers must note that new homes would inevitably have the charge against the property and be prepared to receive notification in the mail.
On top of that, seller are required to disclose the presence of sewer capacity charge to a buyer.
Finally, be mindful that a lien would be placed on the title. And it would be removed once the fees are fully repaid.