The City and County jointly propose to modernize the way stormwater fee credits are issued. Comments will be accepted online now through December 28, 2015 at Fee Credit Revisions. Public Hearings on potential policy changes will be held individually by Mecklenburg municipalities including the City of Charlotte in Spring 2016.
A public meeting for commercial properties to explain proposed changes, answer questions, and accept comments was held October 29, 2015 at 4:30pm in Room 267 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 East Fourth Street. View the presentation. Comments were accepted and questions answered during the meeting.
The potential change is to cap stormwater fee credits to recognize current program costs and the existence of universal costs that all fee payers have in common. The current policy of allowing up to a 100% credit would be changed to allow a maximum of a 72% credit.
The City and County grouped collective spending and budget data and allocated spending into two categories:
- One category for spending that IS directly related to actions taken by the fee payer and
- One category that IS NOT directly related to actions taken by the fee payer.
Actions taken by the fee payer enable credits to be issued.
Based on the spending analysis, it was determined that 28% of the City-County program CAN NOT be directly affected by fee-payer actions. These universal costs must be proportionately borne by all fee payers. The current policy enables some fee payers to receive a 100% credit such that they do not help pay for these universal costs. Therefore the City and County are unable to fully and fairly recover program costs.
Based on the current City-County fee methodology, land that does not contain impervious surfaces is not charged a fee.
- In early 2015 City Council directed City staff to reexamine the fee credit policy after a 2014 independent review found that the City fee credit program was "out of step" with other municipalities.
- The City and County follow the same policy and implementation manual.
- Paved surfaces cause flooding and surface water quality impacts and as a result, stormwater fees are based on the amount of paved surfaces on a property.
- Fee payers that install control measures to reduce stormwater impacts are eligible for a fee credit since the need for some stormwater programs is reduced by the actions of the fee payer.
- Not all municipal programs are affected by actions of the fee payer and must exist due to federal regulation, regardless of actions taken by the fee payer, and these costs must be recovered through fees.
- Storm drainage systems have a life span and must be replaced when they fail, regardless of actions taken by the fee payer, and these costs must be recovered through fees.
For additional information, please call 311.