57.08.065  <<  57.08.081 >>   57.08.085

RCW 57.08.081

Rates and charges—Delinquencies.

(1) Subject to *RCW 57.08.005(6), the commissioners of any district shall provide for revenues by fixing rates and charges for furnishing sewer and drainage service and facilities to those to whom service is available or for providing water, such rates and charges to be fixed as deemed necessary by the commissioners, so that uniform charges will be made for the same class of customer or service and facility. Rates and charges may be combined for the furnishing of more than one type of sewer or drainage service and facilities.
(2) In classifying customers of such water, sewer, or drainage system, the board of commissioners may in its discretion consider any or all of the following factors: The difference in cost to various customers; the location of the various customers within and without the district; the difference in cost of maintenance, operation, repair, and replacement of the various parts of the system; the different character of the service furnished various customers; the quantity and quality of the service and facility furnished; the time of its use; the achievement of water conservation goals and the discouragement of wasteful practices; capital contributions made to the system including but not limited to assessments; and any other matters which present a reasonable difference as a ground for distinction. Rates shall be established as deemed proper by the commissioners and as fixed by resolution and shall produce revenues sufficient to take care of the costs of maintenance and operation, revenue bond and warrant interest and principal amortization requirements, and all other charges necessary for efficient and proper operation of the system. Prior to furnishing services, a district may require a deposit to guarantee payment for services. However, failure to require a deposit does not affect the validity of any lien authorized by this section.
(3) The commissioners shall enforce collection of connection charges, and rates and charges for water supplied against property owners connecting with the system or receiving such water, and for sewer and drainage services charged against property to which and its owners to whom the service is available, such charges being deemed charges against the property served, by addition of penalties of not more than ten percent thereof in case of failure to pay the charges at times fixed by resolution. The commissioners may provide by resolution that where either connection charges or rates and charges for services supplied are delinquent for any specified period of time, the district shall certify the delinquencies to the auditor of the county in which the real property is located, and the charges and any penalties added thereto and interest thereon at the rate of not more than the prime lending rate of the district's bank plus four percentage points per year shall be a lien against the property upon which the service was received, subject only to the lien for general taxes.
(4) The district may, at any time after the connection charges or rates and charges for services supplied or available and penalties are delinquent for a period of sixty days, bring suit in foreclosure by civil action in the superior court of the county in which the real property is located. The court may allow, in addition to the costs and disbursements provided by statute, attorneys' fees, title search and report costs, and expenses as it adjudges reasonable. The action shall be in rem, and may be brought in the name of the district against an individual or against all of those who are delinquent in one action. The laws and rules of the court shall control as in other civil actions.
(5) In addition to the right to foreclose provided in this section, the district may also cut off all or part of the service after charges for water or sewer service supplied or available are delinquent for a period of thirty days.
(6) A district may determine how to apply partial payments on past due accounts.
(7) A district may provide a real property owner or the owner's designee with duplicate bills for service to tenants, or may notify an owner or the owner's designee that a tenant's service account is delinquent. However, if an owner or the owner's designee notifies the district in writing that a property served by the district is a rental property, asks to be notified of a tenant's delinquency, and has provided, in writing, a complete and accurate mailing address, the district shall notify the owner or the owner's designee of a tenant's delinquency at the same time and in the same manner the district notifies the tenant of the tenant's delinquency or by mail. When a district provides a real property owner or the owner's designee with duplicates of tenant utility service bills or notice that a tenant's utility account is delinquent, the district shall notify the tenant that it is providing the duplicate bills or delinquency notice to the owner or the owner's designee. After January 1, 1999, if a district fails to notify the owner of a tenant's delinquency after receiving a written request to do so and after receiving the other information required by this subsection (7), the district shall have no lien against the premises for the tenant's delinquent and unpaid charges.
NOTES:
*Reviser's note: RCW 57.08.005 was amended by 2009 c 253 § 1, changing subsection (6) to subsection (7).
Part headings not law1999 c 153: See note following RCW 57.04.050.
FindingPurpose1997 c 447: See note following RCW 70.05.074.
Part headings not lawEffective date1996 c 230: See notes following RCW 57.02.001.
Assessments and charges against state lands: Chapter 79.44 RCW.
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