Orlando City Council votes “yes” to increase stormwater fees

ORLANDO, Fla. – On Monday, the Orlando City Council voted to increase stormwater fees after a lengthy debate among council members and lengthy public comment from residents.

What you need to know

  • Stormwater fees have been in effect since 1989 but have not increased since 2008, according to a city spokesman
  • The new tariff comes into force in January
  • City officials say the rate increase is necessary due to rising costs and also comes as Orlando faced historic flooding following recent hurricanes
  • Around 30 residents expressed their opposition to the tariff increase at the meeting

Orlando city officials say utility costs have not increased since 2008, but operating costs have increased over the years. Additionally, the community has experienced unprecedented rainfall in previous hurricane seasons.

“(Without this fee increase) it definitely opens up the possibility for more flooding,” said Corey Knight, public works director for the city of Orlando. “If we can’t keep up with our maintenance aspect. If we can’t replace some of the older infrastructure that we have, the older storm pipes here, that’s going to lead to the deterioration of some of those pipes.”

Officials say the fee helps pay for general maintenance, such as sweeping approximately 81,517 miles of roads throughout the year. However, the money also flows into larger renovation projects.

“We also have a capital improvement program that goes into this rate, rate increase,” Knight said. “There is one specifically that starts on Delaney (Avenue). It is a larger project that will take place there.

According to a spokesman for the city of Orlando, the Stormwater Division manages the water quality of 80 lakes, maintains 84 retention ponds and 86 control ditches.

The rainwater fee depends on the size of each owner's parcel. Note that the price is calculated based on the area of ​​the property's impermeable area, which includes things like patios or driveways, and not just the square footage of your home. The Public Works Department says the fee for an average 2,000-square-foot impervious lot is currently about $10 per month.

However, according to the regulation, the fee will increase every year until fiscal year 2028. From 2025 to 2028, the rate will increase again by about 57.5 percent.

Under the ordinance, the tax rate for homeowners is capped at 2,500 square feet, $202.30 per year in 2025 and $318.62 in 2028. However, some local businesses can expect to pay thousands of dollars pay more per year.

One local business owner says he expects his fee to rise from about $1,500 a year to about $3,300 a year by 2028.

“Inflation is too high to enforce this now. People can’t afford to go to the grocery store and you’re going to increase that amount by over 100 percent,” said Mike Alderman, a local business owner.

Alderman says while he is expelled in the city, his neighbor in Orange County is expelled.

“I can leave my driveway and go into the county entrance. The gentleman across the street who owns three times my property pays $600 a year. “Its hasn’t gone up and it won’t go up,” he said.

The City of Orlando has compiled a list of expected fee increases for each homeowner. Homeowners can see their increase by clicking here. To search the document, press Ctrl + F on your computer and enter your package ID.

Homeowners can find their parcel ID by visiting the “Property Search” tab on the Orange County Property Appraiser website. Search for your address. The parcel ID is the 15-digit code located at your address.

Anna Harden

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