How is a fee different from a tax?

A service fee is a charge imposed on property for the purpose of defraying the cost of a particular government service, such as countywide stormwater drainage. The service fee funds can only be spent on providing that service. A tax is imposed on property, acts, events or occurrences to provide revenue to pay any of the general expenses of government. The tax revenue can be used to pay for other government activities, such as fire, zoning, streets and libraries.

Stormwater fees are like those of other utilities such as water and sanitary sewer, which are based on the demand a user places upon the utility system. In the case of the stormwater user fee, each property’s stormwater runoff places demand on the County’s system of pipes, channels and flood and pollution control structures that make up the stormwater system. The stormwater system costs money to operate and maintain, and it must function properly to carry stormwater safely, decrease pollution and prevent flooding.

Show All Answers

1. What is stormwater?
2. Who benefits from a stormwater management program?
3. What is the Stormwater Ordinance?
4. What is the purpose of the Stormwater Design Manual?
5. What information do I have to submit to obtain a stormwater plan review?
6. What is a stormwater utility?
7. Why do we have a stormwater utility fee?
8. What other sources of revenue fund stormwater management?
9. Why is a stormwater utility the best solution to fund stormwater drainage needs?
10. Why can't the county's general fund pay for the needs?
11. How is a fee different from a tax?
12. What is an impervious surface?
13. Are gravel surfaces considered impervious surface?
14. I need my ditches cleaned, how do I make a request?
15. How do I know if I need to obtain a "Land Disturbance Permit" from the Georgetown County Stormwater Division?
16. What do I need to do if I want to develop property (Commercial, residential, subdivision, etc.) to ultimately receive a Georgetown County Land Disturbance Permit?
17. Do I need an encroachment permit? How can I apply for one?
18. How can citizens find out about drainage problems or drainage projects within the County?
19. Why can’t the County fix all of the drainage systems (ditches, pipes, swales, etc.) throughout the County?
20. Who can I contact for more information?