A court ordered the Seattle municipal water company to pay compensation to its customers for "fire hydrant" surcharges added to their bills (fire hydrants are a municipal responsibility and shouldn't be charged to general water customers). In order to pay the fines, the company is adding a "we have to pay you compensation" surcharge to its bills.
As a result of the latest court decision, anyone who was a Seattle Public Utilities water customer between March 2002 and December 2004 is due a refund under a court order issued in October. But current water customers will be the ones paying the bill.
Eligible water customers will get their full rebate in May or June. The surcharge and tax will be spread over 21 months.