In fall 2022, our 2023-2024 budgets were approved by the Public Utility Board and Tacoma’s City Council. The proposals include rate adjustments for Tacoma Power and Tacoma Water. The Tacoma City Council reviewed rate proposals for Environmental Services (Wastewater, Solid Waste, and Stormwater) after receiving recommendations from the Environmental Services Commission.
Tacoma Water rates will go into effect on January 1, and Tacoma Power rates will go into effect on April 1.
As part of the budget process, our staff participates in many public meetings to hear feedback and answer questions. See a complete list of 2022 public meetings and presentations here.
Looking for information about Environmental Services rates? Visit the City of Tacoma’s website to learn about Solid Waste, Wastewater, and Stormwater rate and contact information.
Reasons for rate adjustments
Increased costs from inflation are the primary factors affecting our rates for 2023-2024. Our rates cover the cost of providing safe, reliable services, maintaining our system, protecting natural resources near our facilities, complying with regulations, and investing in upgrades that improve your services.
While we do everything we can to keep costs down, our increased costs are significant enough that our rates must also be increased to cover them. By gradually increasing rates over time, we can prevent large increases while still providing the services you rely on.
- Increased costs from inflation
Like our customers, we are experiencing increased costs for equipment, fuel, personnel, and other expenses.
Supply chain shortages
Delays and difficulty buying equipment also result in increased costs and limited resources.
We reduced costs during the pandemic by delaying maintenance projects that now need to continue.
Impacts of COVID-19
During the pandemic, we reduced our budget and rate increases for 2021 and 2022. Many customers also have outstanding balances following the pandemic.
Expanded payment assistance
To help our customers having difficulty paying their bills, we are also expanding our assistance programs for those who qualify.
- More customers will be able to meet the eligibility requirements.
- Income-qualified households may qualify for increased assistance of up to $888 annually. The assistance amount depends on the number of utility services the customer receives.
- Assistance funds will cover the majority of rate increases in 2023 and 2024.
We hope this expanded assistance will help those most in need.
How we manage costs and affordability
We know rates affect you. We work hard to keep our costs low, which keeps our rates some of the lowest in the country and more affordable for everyone in our community.
- Equipment costs – we look for less expensive ways to repair or buy equipment.
- Personnel costs – we review open positions to prioritize when and where to replace or add staff.
- Payment assistance programs – customers can qualify for more funds.
- New payment resources – we added better tools to our online account systems.
How we address equity when planning rates
- Providing payment assistance programs for those in need.
- Delivering equitable services to customers and visitors.
- Working to reflect the community we serve by hiring and retaining diverse employees.
- Coordinating with community groups to share information.