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.