Utility Rate Increase

Rate Increases for Sewer, Water & Storm Drainage Utilities

The City of Fife purchases water and sewer-treatment services from the City of Tacoma. Rate increases are necessary to ensure that the city keeps pace with the costs charged by Tacoma. The City of Tacoma sets its rate at the end of every November. We then use that rate information from the City of Tacoma when we calculate our annual utility rates. One other factor that affects the sewer rates is the need to update the Sewer Comprehensive Plan. The Storm Drainage utility also needs a significant amount of work to improve the drainage in Fife, which means a rate adjustment.

Why are the new utility rates announced so late in the year?

The City of Fife purchases water and sewer-treatment services from the City of Tacoma. Rate increases are necessary to ensure that the city keeps pace with the costs charged by Tacoma. The City of Tacoma sets its rate at the end of every November. We then use that rate information from the City of Tacoma when we calculate our annual utility rates. After receiving the City of Tacoma rate details, our finance employees calculate the new rate for Fife customers and then staff members present the information for Fife City Council approval. After those steps are complete, rate information is immediately shared with the public.
Rate change information Here is more information about the new 2021 rate and how it was calculated.

Will There be utility rate increases in the future and, if so, what will they be?

Utility rates have been indexed to provide for future rate increases to address anticipated needs for the next few years. These increases are as follows:

Sewer and water rates have been indexed to increase from the previous year based upon Tacoma’s treatment cost increase and inflation, starting January 1 and each successive year thereafter.

Storm drainage rates have been indexed to increase annually. Click here for a copy of the Fife Municipal Code. The rate is expected to increase from the previous year based upon inflation, starting January 1 of each year.

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE UTILITY RATE OR RATE INCREASES? 

Please visit the City of Fife's utility FAQ page for more information.