During the April 21st meeting of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC), City and County staff announced they did not intend to advance their recent proposal to phase down stormwater fee credits for older commercial properties until at least FY 2018.
Presently, these older ponds are eligible for a 100% fee credit under the ordinance, but SWAC recently approved a recommendation to cap credits for all commercial properties at 86% for the next three years, after which the cap would drop to 72%. While this would result in higher stormwater fees for many commercial property owners, the increase would be much less than under the original staff proposal, which would have immediately capped the credits at 72% of their current value.
You can view more information about the original staff proposal here.
At the direction of County Manager Dena Diorio, County staff was told to defer any changes to the stormwater credit policy until early next year, when discussions begin on the the FY 2018 budget. The City could still move ahead with a cap in the current budget cycle, but according to Daryl Hammock with Storm Water Services, that is unlikely because of an interlocal agreement that stipulates the City and County will implement credit policies jointly.
In announcing her decison to hold off on the fee credit reductions, Diorio cited a number of other cost increases expected to impact commercial property owners this year, including hikes in solid waste service fees.
REBIC has been advocating for the county to maintain the current stormwater fee credits for all commercial properties that have been receiving them, or to at least phase down the credits over a period of 3 – 5 years. Last week’s announcement is a victory for many commercial property owners who would have been affected by the proposal. The additional year should help ease the shock of what would have been a significant fee increase for owners of the roughly 350 properties affected.