King County halts septic fee, REALTORS® help stop proposal

The King County Department of Health has withdrawn a controversial proposal to assess every owner of an on-site septic system an annual fee. After over 600 community members attended a forum on the proposal in Maple Valley, the Board of Health announced a delay in implementing the fee several nights later at a forum in Fall City.

As reported by the Seattle Times, King County Council member Rod Dembowski, who sits on the Board of Health, only learned about the proposal after members of a Board subcommittee studying the regulation and maintenance of on-site systems testified against the proposed fee.

Seattle King County REALTORS® staff member David Crowell was one of the subcommittee members who testified against the proposal. “In our testimony, we told the Board that it was premature to impose a fee for regulation and monitoring before the Board’s own subcommittee had completed its work on whether there was a real need for such a tax,” said Crowell, who directs the governmental affairs programs of the REALTORS®. “I serve on this committee because REALTORS® have clients throughout the county with septic systems. We wanted to make sure these homeowners were protected and their concerns were taken into account as the Board developed new policy on septic systems.”

Dembowski stated that he hoped the Board would build upon the subcommittee’s work before moving any future fee proposal forward.