Impervious Surface Charge – Prop S

By on March 15, 2019

From NextSTL:  In April voters in the Metropolitan Sewer District will consider Proportion S, the addition of a stormwater capital rate based on the amount of impervious surface on a property. It’s projected to raise $30M per year to pay for projects to mitigate local flooding, erosion, and regional flooding. Each is a long and growing problem in the district left unaddressed for too long.

Another Prop S in 2016 used a property tax to raise funds to address deferred storm sewer infrastructure maintenance. Since it was a property tax, tax-exempt property was left off the hook, it could be tax-abated, and TIFs could divert the tax. Worse it set up a subsidy stream for low-productivity land uses such as large parking lots and single-story buildings.

This Prop S is the right thing to charge to pay for stormwater mitigation. It treats stormwater mitigation as a utility, applying its cost to all customers in proportion to their use, like electricity.

Instead of this huge disparity and subsidy created by the property tax that punishes high-productivity land uses, this Prop S would charge in proportion to the amount of impervious surface. The big box pictured above would pay approximately $180 per month and the mixed-use building about $27.

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About Dede Hance