Transportation and Stormwater Services FAQ

Stormwater Fees / Assessment Questions

What is the purpose of the Stormwater Service Assessment?

The stormwater service charges will be used to pay for the planning, operation and maintenance of the City’s stormwater system. This includes such responsibilities as street sweeping, maintenance of existing public facilities such as ditches, ponds, pipes, outfalls, pumps, construction and restoration, engineering, planning and stormwater environmental projects in the City.

What is the purpose of the Stormwater Improvement Assessment?

To fund all or any portion of the capital and related costs to finance stormwater improvements in the Central & Lower Basin Improvement Area. This area is generally south of Fowler with some exceptions.

What are the proposed Stormwater Assessment rates?

The Service Assessment rate is proposed to be $82.00 per ESU and the Improvement Assessment rate is proposed to be no more than $98.04 per ESU. In some cases, a mitigation credit reducing the bill amount will be granted if the property has a properly maintained private drainage facility in place.

Will the Stormwater Assessment revenue go into the City’s general fund?

No. Revenue from the Stormwater Service Assessment will go into a separate fund that may only be used for stormwater services. Revenue from the Stormwater Improvement Assessment will go into a separate fund that may only be used to finance Stormwater improvements in the central and lower basin improvement area.

How much money does the City expect to collect from the stormwater charges?

It is estimated that $14.1M will be collected annually with the Service Assessment beginning in FY16 and an estimated annual amount of $16.9 M to begin in FY17 for the Improvement Assessment.

What is an ‘ESU’? (Equivalent Stormwater Unit)

ESU also referred to as an "ESFIA" or (equivalent square footage of impervious surface) is a billing unit (similar to a kilowatt hour that is the billing unit used to measure electric consumption). It is the standard unit used to express the Stormwater burden expected to be generated by each parcel of property. In Tampa, each ESU represents 3,310 square feet of impervious surface.

What is “impervious surface” as it relates to calculating Stormwater Fees?

It is the area on a property that is covered by buildings, driveways, parking areas and other hard surfaces that prevent runoff from being absorbed into the soil.

How was the number of ESUs for residential property determined for Stormwater Assessments?

Single family home parcels are charged based on the footprint of their residence within a tier. The tiers’ footprint ranges are as follows:

  • Small = Building footprint ≥100 and ≤1,300 sq. ft.
  • Medium = Building footprint ≥1,301 and ≤2,200 sq. ft.
  • Large = Building footprint ≥2,201 and ≤4,000 sq. ft.
  • Very Large = Building footprint >4,000 sq. ft.

The tiers all pay some portion or multiple of an ESU based on a study which related impervious area on a site to the building footprints within that tier.

  • Small = .61 ESU
  • Medium = 1.0 ESU
  • Large = 1.66 ESU Very
  • Large = 2.82 ESU

How are the non-residential properties charged for Stormwater Assessments?

All developed parcels (parcels with impervious areas greater than or equal to 100 sq. ft.) will be charged. Non-residential properties (commercial, industrial, governmental, etc.) will be charged based on the impervious area associated with their property. The calculation will consider the total amount of impervious surfaces (building footprint, parking lot, sidewalks and other paved surfaces) divided by the billing unit value of 3,310 and then will be multiplied by the rate per ESU.

Will all parcels pay both Stormwater assessments (Service and Improvement)?

No. All developed parcels within the City are charged the Service Assessment and only those parcels located in the Central and Lower Basin Improvement Area will be charged the Improvement Assessment. If a parcel meets the requirements for a mitigation credit, then it would receive a mitigation credit applied to both assessments.

What are Stormwater mitigation credits?

Mitigation credits applied to a Stormwater Assessment for a Developed Property in consideration of the on-site management of the Stormwater burden as a consequence of the location of a Mitigation Facility or in consideration of discharge to a non-City stormwater system or for the conveyance and/or treatment of City Stormwater.

Who is eligible for a Stormwater mitigation credit?

Parcels subject to a stormwater charge may be granted a mitigation credit based on one of the following factors: 1. No portion of the parcel drains to City right-of-way or any part of a stormwater system over which the City has maintenance responsibility. 2. Owner of parcel contributes monetarily to a Community Development District, Civic Association (Homeowners Association or Property Owners Association), or Special District which provides maintenance to non-City owned stormwater management facilities which accept drainage from City rights of way. 3. Parcel has a properly maintained and functional onsite stormwater management system which treats and/or attenuates stormwater prior to discharge to the City right-of-way or stormwater system. Proof of proper operation and maintenance may be required on a periodic basis.

How can I get additional information on the City’s Stormwater Mitigation Credit and Adjustment Policy?

A copy of the mitigation policy is located on the Stormwater Utility Page on the City of Tampa Website. Or it may be requested by contacting the City’s Stormwater Engineering Division by calling (813) 274 -3101.

Can I have my parcel reviewed for a stormwater mitigation credit?

Please contact the City by telephone at (813) 274-3101 and provide your name, address, phone number, and the best time for someone to reach you and. Most importantly, the Folio or Parcel Identification number and how you qualify for the mitigation credit. You may need to furnish drainage plans that indicate the onsite retention/detention facilities. Page 3 of 3

What period of time do the stormwater charges cover and when will the stormwater charges be payable?

Service Assessments are re-imposed annually, and the Improvement Assessment is imposed for a period of 30 years. Both are payable, as part of your tax bill, each year between November 1 and March 31. While the Service Assessment has been collected since 2003 the Improvement Assessment will begin in 2016.

Why is the City using the tax bill collection method to collect the stormwater charge?

“Piggy-backing” the collection method on the annual property tax bill (1) saves money for everyone by reducing the administrative costs of the program, (2) results in a stable revenue source to fund stormwater services and improvements, and (3) is more fair to property owners who pay on time as well as those who may be delinquent in their payments.

I don’t pay taxes now due to homestead exemption. Will I have to pay the stormwater charge?

Yes. Stormwater charges are a non-ad valorem assessment and collected on the tax bill even though they are not taxes. The stormwater fee applies to all residential property uses regardless of exemptions.

What if I am unable to pay the full stormwater charge at one time?

If you make monthly mortgage payments, it is likely that your mortgage holder will escrow the stormwater charge amount, much like property taxes, and your monthly payment will include this stormwater charge. You may wish to advise them of any increase or the new improvement charge you may be subject to so they can adjust your monthly payment.  Alternatively, if you would like to make installment payments, you might wish to contact the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office at (813) 635-5200 to arrange to participate in the quarterly installment program for the payment of taxes and stormwater charges.

I received a discount for early payment of my taxes. Will I receive the same discount for my stormwater charges?

Yes. The same discounts and penalties applicable to ad valorem taxes will also apply to the stormwater charges collected on the tax bill.

I have a tenant in my house. Should the tenant pay the stormwater charges or will I have to pay it as the property owner?

Like property taxes, stormwater charges are billed to property owners only; each property owner or landlord will have to determine if or how a tenant should share in the stormwater costs.

What if my Stormwater Assessment is incorrect on the tax bill in November?

If the Stormwater Assessment information on the tax bill is incorrect, contact the Department of Transportation and Stormwater Services at (813) 274-3101.

Stormwater drainage and flooding questions

Where can I report flooding or drainage issues?

Please contact the Department of Transportation and Stormwater services at (813) 274-3101.

Transportation Maintenance Questions

How long does it take to have a pothole, cave-in, dip, or depression (sinking area) in the street pavement or in the shoulder or the parkway to be repaired?

Potholes are typically repaired within three business days after notification.  Depending on the severity of the cave-in, dips, or depression it could take up to several weeks for repair.

When will my street be repaved or resurfaced?

The City maintains a five year paving schedule which is adjusted annually depending on available funding.  Please contact the Department of Transportation of Stormwater Services at (813) 274-3101 for more detailed information.

How do I request new curb in front of my property/residence?

The City does not install individual sections of curb as it would modify the existing street drainage .

Who do I notify to report damaged curb?

Please contact the Department of Transportation of Stormwater Services at (813) 274-3101.

How do I report a damaged or missing traffic sign or malfunctioning traffic signal?

For STOP, ONE WAY, YIELD, DO NOT ENTER or ANY TRAFFIC SIGNAL please contact the Tampa Police at their non-emergency number (813) 231-6130. 

How do I get a 5-minute parking sign installed in front of my residence?

The City does not install 5-minute parking signs.  For 5-minute parking sign requirements and placement for single family detached dwelling (a structure containing one(1) dwelling unit with open space on all sides), please refer to section 15-43 of the City municipal code.