Seattle is again extending its COVID-19 suspension of interest charges and late fees for residential, nonprofit and small-business utility bills.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday to pass legislation from Mayor Jenny Durkan that will extend the policy until either June 30, 2021, or when Seattle’s COVID-19 emergency status is terminated, whichever is earlier.
The city began waiving interest charges and late fees for Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities bills in March to provide residential, nonprofit and small-business customers with relief during the pandemic.
The policy was going to expire on Aug. 1, but was extended until Jan. 1. The council’s Monday vote extends it again.
The policy is costing Seattle’s utilities an estimated $2.3 million this year and the extension is expected to cost the utilities $3.4 million next year, according to the legislation’s fiscal note.
Under the policy, a small business is defined as a commercial enterprise that grosses less than $5 million annually.