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What is the new "Utility Tax" I see on my bill? 

That is a charge levied by one of the local cities.  If you did not see this charge in the past, your service address has recently been reclassified with the city that collects this tax.

Recently cable companies have added a new, separate tax line item identified as Utility Tax.  We have discovered that the cable companies have been allowed to charge this tax as a 'pass through to the customer' line item for some time.  Only recently have the billing statements finally been updated to reflect this tax.

The cable companies have the following cities within Kitsap County listed as collecting this utility tax:

AnnapolisPort Orchard
Bainbridge IslandPoulsbo
BremertonSheridan Park
ManetteWest Park

 

These cities consider cable TV a Utility.  The tax is collected based on a percentage of the total cable portion of your monthly rate and goes to the city in which you reside as a gross revenue tax to pay for street and city support.

The Utility fee is a surcharge on VoIP telephone service determined by your local taxing authority.  Fees collected are also remitted to your city.

The cable companies recent billing system upgrades included a new system for collecting and remitting the taxes and fees levied by local government (state/county/city) authorities.   As a result of updating their compliance procedures, you may notice some changes to this portion of your bill as several taxing authorities have changed the jurisdictions and calculation methods.

Where do these taxes go? 

The cable company is required by law to collect and remit these taxes and fees to the various agencies with jurisdiction over the cable industry.  100% of the charges collected pass directly through to the appropriate agency in accordance with law.

What can I do?

If you live within the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County, you should call your cable company and ask that they remove these specific taxes as Kitsap County does not collect them.

If you live within one of the listed cities, contact your City Clerk for more information.  Their contact information is listed on the first page of the county's Cable Franchise Webpage. 

How can I verify my address as not within the city boundaries?

  • Go to the homepage (first page) of the Kitsap County Webpage – www.kitsapgov.com
  • Halfway down on the right-hand side you'll see a large arrow with the words 'Online Services'
  • From within that column of choices, select 'Parcel Search'
  • At the top of the new page, under search options, select the 'Site Address' button and then enter your home address
  • A small drop-down window appears – select your address
  • The screen will then display several parcels and your is edged in green
  • After identifying the results, you can zoom out
  • When you zoom out far enough, you'll see the closest City boundaries.
  • If your property is within any of the darker boundaries, you live within that city.  If not, you live in the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County. 

 

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