Lakehaven Water and Sewer District offices in Federal Way. File photo

Lakehaven Water and Sewer District offices in Federal Way. File photo

Federal Way wins court case for water and sewer tax

Tax is expected to generate about $1 million in revenue each year.

The City of Federal Way now has the authority to tax water and sewer utilities, the city announced June 18.

In March 2018, the Federal Way City Council passed an ordinance to impose a 7.75-percent tax on water and sewer utilities not already paying excise taxes to the city.

Lakehaven Water and Sewer District, along with co-plaintiffs Highline Water District and Midway Sewer District, challenged the legality of the ordinance on two fronts, alleging the ordinance is not authorized by state law and that it is unconstitutional.

The State Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court’s ruling and granted summary judgment to the city.

“The Legislature properly delegated the city authority to impose the excise tax on the districts, and the governmental immunity doctrine does not shield the districts from the excise because they perform a proprietary function in providing water-sewer services to ratepayers,” the decision stated. “The districts lack standing to bring their constitutional claims challenging the tax.”

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said: “I’m extremely gratified that our state’s highest court agreed with the city’s position. We are pleased this matter has been resolved. During these difficult financial times, this additional revenue will help provide vital services for the people of this community.”

Moving forward, the tax is expected to generate about $1 million in revenue for the city each year. The city is expected to receive an additional $1.8 million in revenue that was being held in an escrow account while the case was being decided over the last year and a half.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Jeff Duchin, Seattle - King County Public Health officer, said when considering whether to wear a mask indoors in public spaces, people should understand their risk based on local coronavirus activity and make decisions based on their own risk tolerance. (Getty images)
Should you keep masking up if you’re vaccinated?

Think about it, says King County’s top doctor.

Federal Way Public Schools image
Upcoming vaccination clinic open to Federal Way students 12 and older

Clinic to be held at Todd Beamer High School Friday, May 21.

Police tape. File photo
Auburn man charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of 8-year-old Federal Way girl

The man, who is related to the girl’s father, faces charges of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for April 25 shooting.

Edgar Sandoval Sr., World Vision’s president and CEO. Photo courtesy of World Vision
World Vision to launch largest capital campaign ever to assist millions of people amid pandemic

Every Last One aims to raise $1 billion to offer 60 million people relief from extreme poverty.

A man walks past an emergency location mile marker along the BPA Trail at dusk on May 11. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Mile markers repainted along BPA Trail for emergency purposes

Markers located every 1/10th of a mile along the 3.6-mile trail.

Executive Director Amanda Miller outside of the South King Tool Library (1700 S. 340th St. in Federal Way). Courtesy photo
South King Tool Library wins Green Globe award for waste reduction

In areas such as Federal Way, waste reduction becomes a conversation about equity, says tool library executive director.

Clockwise from top left: Alisha Saucedo, Cheryl Aguilar Henriquez, Luis Carrera-Lara, Milagros Gonzalez, and Immanuel Lee. Photos courtesy of FWPS
5 FWPS seniors named Act Six Scholars

Partner colleges to provide full-tuition, full-need scholarships over four years.

File photo
Shoplifter threatens to pepper spray employee | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log May 5-11.

Most Read