Stormwater fees are used to support stormwater facility maintenance and operation as well as the following: plan, design and construct stormwater treatment and flood prevention projects; investigate drainage problems; ensure Leon County's compliance with state, federal and local stormwater permits; and monitor water quality in County lakes and streams.
The Stormwater Utility was established by the Board in 1991 to provide dedicated funding for implementation of the County's stormwater management system. The costs for the stormwater management system are allocated in relationship to the amount of impervious area on developed property in the unincorporated area, meaning that a large commercial property pays a proportionally higher annual assessment than a single-family residential property. The fee was updated in 2013 to a tiered system based on the type of residential structure:
- $51 for mobile homes
- $60 for multi-family structures such as apartments
- $85 for single-family homes
Commercial property is charged based on the amount of impervious area (building, pavement and sidewalks) on the property divided by the average area for a single-family home in Leon County (3,273 square feet). For example, a commercial property with 32,730 square feet of building and pavement pays 10 times the $85 assessment or $850 per year in taxes.
In addition to providing direct funding for the system, the stormwater fee assessment program provides an incentive to owners with private stormwater management facilities (SWMF) to properly maintain their facilities. A reduction to the annual stormwater fee assessment is granted to owners that maintain their SWMF and keep their operating permit in good standing. The reduction is proportional to the level of treatment provided by the SWMF and varies from 25% to 75% of the annual fee, recognizing the reduced impact to the County stormwater management system when private SWMFs are operated and maintained in proper condition.
Residents who qualify for "low income senior exemption" or "disabled veteran exemption" with the Leon County Property Appraiser are eligible for a grant that reduces the stormwater assessment on their residential property. For more information, contact the Leon County Property Appraiser at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 606-6200.