TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The City of Twin Falls is requiring all landlords and property owners in Twin Falls to take on the responsibility of utility costs for its tenants beginning in January 2023.
Currently, property owners can require tenants to seek utilities such as water and waste but when those bills are not paid by the tenant and are left behind, the City of Twin Falls covers those payments accumulating in over $100,000 of what they call "Bad Debt". This issue began to arise around the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"It's something that the City of Twin Falls had been looking at for well over two years. It originated because our utility billing department again about two years ago had been noticing in increase in what we call bad debt and that's unpaid water and wastewater bills," said Josh Palmer, public information coordinator with the City.
Many surrounding cities in the Magic Valley and many landlords had already taken on utility costs for landlords and Twin Falls wanted the choice to be uniform to stop accruing "Bad Debt".
"We want to be as responsible as we can be with those tax dollars and that means taking this burden away from the general taxpayer and on the property owners," said Palmer.
Apartment complexes like Addison Springs take on utility costs to cut out any issues with cost the city more. Community Manager Stan Visser has seen this issue with properties across the valley and says the responsibility shift is a good move for Twin Falls.
"As a taxpayer, Yes. As one who was born and raised here, Yes. The city is not capable of chasing thousands of people around the country trying to collect a one- or two-month water bill," Visser said.