In 2005, property owners approved the Storm Drain User Fee, which provides funding for the city's storm drain improvement and maintenance program. Property owners pay the user fee for parcels that use the City's storm drain system. In 2006, the fee was based on $86 per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU); increasing by the Consumer Price Index each year (maximum of 2% per year). View a detailed explanation (PDF) of how your storm drain user fee is calculated. The current storm drain user fee rate for Fiscal Year 2014 to 2015, which is set by City Council after a public hearing, is $96.75 per ERU.
On November 6, 2007, the voters approved Measure C, an amendment to the User Fee ordinance to include a voter-enacted Oversight Committee and a 10-year sunset of the storm drain user fee. When the user fee rate was established by the property owners in 2005, the total user fees to be collected over 30 years was estimated to be about $50 million to pay for known construction projects, storm drain lining, maintenance, staffing and engineering.
Based upon the 10-year sunset established with the passage of Measure C, the maximum total user fees that could be collected is estimated to be about $13 million. It appears as though it will be necessary to secure other funding sources to continue the storm drain program when the User Fee expires on June 30, 2016.
User Fee Assistance Program
To be eligible for the Storm Drain User Fee Assistance Program, all property owners of record must have a combined gross income under $35,000 for the tax year. To substantiate eligibility for fiscal year 2009 - 2010, all property owners of record are required to copy and submit the pages of their federal tax return(s) that detail their contact information, adjusted gross income and signature (typically pages 1 and 2), along with a completed application form before December 31, 2011. Download an application (PDF).
User Fee Appeals
If a property owner disagrees with the calculation of his or her storm drain user fee, based on the parcel size and/or estimated impervious percentage, the property owner may appeal the city's calculation. Staff will accept appeal applications on a continual basis. Fee adjustments resulting from appeal applications received through June 30, 2010, will be reflected on fiscal year 2010 to 2011 property tax bills.
The storm drain user fee for all commercial, institutional, multi-family, government-owned, condominium, and single-family parcels 3/4 of an acre or larger have been determined based upon an actual calculation of the impervious percentage using the city's geographic information system. View a storm drain user fee appeal application (PDF).