Utility Bill Reduced Rates

Reduced rates are available for water, sewer and storm water utilities provided by the City of Bellingham. Customers are eligible for a discount on their bill if they are a low income, senior, or disabled adult living in a residence receiving a separate City of Bellingham water or sewer bill.  The following table provides the age and income requirements to qualify for a discount:

 

Effective through December 31, 2015

Age
Income
62+$35,000 or less
18+
$35,000 or less and
receiving permanent Social Security Disability payments
 

Effective January 1, 2016

Age
Income
62+$40,000 or less
18+
$40,000 or less and
receiving permanent Social Security Disability payments

Rate Reduction

Qualified customers receive a reduction on their utility bill by the following percentages:

Household Income
Percent Reduction
0 - 50% of the qualifying income75%
51% - 75% of the qualifying income50%
76% - 100% of the qualifying income25%

Income

Single-family household income includes income from all persons living in the home. This includes income received from wages, retirement benefits, retirement income including IRA’s, social security, supplemental security income (SSI), permanent social security disability income (SSDI), VA Benefits, interest income from savings, bonds, annuities, etc., gross rental income, gross business income, etc. Copies of tax returns with all schedules and supporting documentation must be submitted. If you are applying for a disability reduction, you must provide a current (less than three months old) statement of eligibility, plus the above requirements. You can call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213 to request benefit verification.

Home Owners and Renters

IF YOU ARE A RENTER: and the Property Owner pays the water bill on your behalf, and you are eligible for this program, the Property Owner must also certify that your rent has been reduced by the amount of the rate reduction.  Please contact the Finance Office for further information.

Application Process

To make application for reduced rates, fill out the Application for Rate Reduction on City Utility Bills (PDF) and mail or drop it off  with a copy of the previous year's tax return, including all schedules and supporting documentation for all members of your household to: City of Bellingham Finance Department, City Hall, 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.

Notification of Change

Customers receiving rate reductions are required to notify the Finance Department immediately when household income level changes, disabled status changes, the house is sold, home is unoccupied, or the house is no longer the primary residence.

Nonprofit Agencies Offering Affordable Housing

The City offers reduced rates to agencies providing affordable housing for low income households. Agencies must be nonprofits or the Bellingham Housing Authority, and the reduced rate is only available for low-income housing where rents are restricted by a federal, state or city housing program for households earning less than 60 percent (60%) of area median income. See BMC 15.04.070(C). Please find the application here. For additional information, please contact Samya Lutz at 360-778-8385.

 

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