The City’s stormwater drainage system protects water quality and lowers the risk of flooding that can damage property and the environment. Stormwater operation costs represent $6.7 million or 1.6 per cent of the City’s portion of the property tax bill. Starting in 2016, stormwater expenses will be funded by the revenue from the Stormwater Charge.
This dedicated funding will directly support the City’s Stormwater Management Program and cannot be used for any other services or programs as stated in our Stormwater Fees and Charges Bylaw. This dedicated funding will be used to keep to the City’s drainage system in good working order.
The City’s drainage system is made up of underground pipes, engineered ponds, creeks, streams and the other infrastructure that connects them all together. The system is kept in good working order through investments in planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renewal and by-law enforcement activities.
These investments include capital projects (infrastructure projects that maintain, renew or improve a City service) such as sediment removal and flood mitigation as well as operational activities such as watercourse monitoring, pond maintenance and rainfall monitoring.
Currently, stormwater is funded through the property tax and as a result, residential properties are paying a higher percentage (69%) for stormwater than non-residential properties (31%). This is because property taxes are based on land value. Under the new Stormwater Charge, residential properties will pay less (40%) for stormwater and non-residential properties will pay a higher percentage (60%). This is because the stormwater charge is based on the amount of hard surface on a property. For multi-residential and non-residential properties the hard surface area is individually measured and charged.
For residential properties, the rooftop area is used as an indicator of hard surface area and properties are assigned to the most appropriate of the five residential stormwater charge tiers. The relative amount of tax (land value) and stormwater charge (hard surface area) is unique to every property.
To learn more about the City’s Stormwater Charge visit stormwatercharge.ca.
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