The Surface Water Utility is funded by bonds, grants, and surface water management fees (SWM Fees). The current SWM Fee schedule and budget allocations can be found in tables below. Answers to frequently asked questions about SWM Fees are also provided. 

Current SWM Fee Schedule and Allocations
SWM Fee Schedule

Budget Table Small

SWM Fee Discounts
The qualification process for the discounted residential rate uses the same King County process for property taxes. The qualification for a property tax exemption is based on ownership, age, and income for the preceding year. Ratepayers must meet three requirements to qualify:

- Own the residence as of December 31st of the prior year of the benefit tax year (e.g. 2022 benefit tax year must own by 12/31/2022) 

Age or disability 
- Born in 1960 or earlier (61 years of age by December 31st of the prior year of the benefit tax year)
- You are disabled or a vertern with at leaset an 80% total disability rating. 
- You may also qualify if your deceased spouse or registered domestic partner had an exemption at the time of death and you were at least age 57 that year. 

- For an exemption on your 2022 property taxes, your household income was below $58,423 including Social Security and other sources (RCW 84.36.383(5)) (e.g. 2022 benefit tax year based on 2021 income)

Residents can apply online or mail in a paper application

For more information on SWM Fees check out our 2020 SWM Utility Rate Study

Why did SWM Fees increase this year?

SWM fees must increase periodically to operate and maintain the SWM utility, which has rising costs due to inflation, aging infrastructure, and additional requirements of Newcastle’s stormwater permit.

What do my SWM fees pay for?

The SWM Fund pays for the entire SWM Division of Public Works, including:
- Stormwater operation and maintenance, equipemnt and staff
- Staff who manage Newcastle's stormwater permit
- Staff who work to keep our communities' surface water clean, and 
- Essential stormwater capital improvement projects like replacing old or failing infrastructure. 

SWM fees pay for an essential piece of keeping our community, and the surrounding environment, safe and clean for all to enjoy.

How are rates calculated?

SWM fee rates vary by type of property and the amount of impervious surfaces they contain. 

How do I pay my SWM fees?

The city contracts with King County to assess and collect the Surface Water Management (SWM) fees on property tax statements. King County collects property taxes and SWM fees in two installments on April 30 and October 31. For more information about property taxes visit the King County Assessor's page. 

I feel my bill in incorrect. May I have my bill adjusted?

Any person receiving a bill may file a request for a rate adjustment within two years of the billing date. (Filing a request will not extend the payment period). 
Property owners should file a request for a change in the rate assessed if: 

1. The property acreage is incorrect;
2. The measured impervious surface is incorrect
Looking for additional information?

Visit the King County Assessor's website to learn more.
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