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Stormwater utility fee

The stormwater utility is a monthly user fee that pays for maintenance, improvements to the stormwater drainage system and other stormwater program activities. This fee is similar to other utility fees for water, sewer, and garbage.

Why are properties in Fort Worth being charged a stormwater fee? Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. today, with a population predicted to exceed one million by 2025. This projected growth, coupled with a drainage system that is now decades old, presents new challenges and increased needs in order to control flooding and its impacts. In the past few years, eight people have lost their lives due to flooded roadways and over 300 homes and businesses have suffered major flood damage.

It is estimated that more than $640 million is needed to focus on flooding and high water hazard areas and to improve maintenance. By providing a dedicated source of funds for these vital needs, the stormwater utility fee reduces the burden on bond program and tax revenue funds, and decreases the need for future tax increases.

Who is charged this fee? All owners of developed property in Fort Worth are charged a user fee for stormwater services. This includes residential property owners, businesses, apartment complexes, public facilities, city owned facilities and churches.

How is this fee determined? The stormwater fee is calculated based on the amount of hard surface on your property. If you own a single-family residence, your property is placed in one of four tiers depending on the livable square footage of your home and the number of garage spaces you have, according to the Appraisal District database. The current fees for single-family properties range from $2.70 per month for small homes with limited parking to $10.80 per month for large homes with parking for several vehicles.

Single-Family Residential Fees: Each residence is placed in one of four tiers according to living area and number of garage spaces. For example, a residential property with 2 garage spaces and 1,600 square feet of living area falls into Tier 2 and is charged $5.40 per month.

Tier Garage Capacity (Number of Spaces) Living Area (Square Feet) Monthly Rates
(Effective Jan. 1, 2012)
Tier 1
(0.5 ERU)
0 0 to 1,300 $ 2.70
1 0 to 1,040
2 0 to 781
3 0 to 521
4 0 to 262
Tier 2
(1 ERU)
0 1,301 to 2,475 $5.40
1 1,041 to 2,215
2 782 to 1,956
3 522 to 1,696
4 263 to 1,437
Tier 3
(1.5 ERU)
0 2,476 to 3,393 $8.10
1 2,216 to 3,133
2 1,957 to 2,874
3 1,697 to 2,614
4 1,438 to 2,355
Tier 4
(2 ERU)
0 3,394+ $10.80
1 3,134+
2 2,875+
3 2,615+
4 2,356+

Non-Residential and Multi-Family Fees:

The city uses digitized aerial photography to measure impervious (hard surface) areas of every developed parcel. Non-residential and multi-family fees are based on the amount of hard surface area on the property. Hard surface area includes buildings, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. Hard surface area will be divided by the standard Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) of 2,600 square feet to determine the number of billing units on the property. The number of billing units then will be multiplied by the standard ERU rate of $5.40.

For example, the fee for a commercial property with a total hard surface area of 25,000 square feet will be $54.00 monthly, calculated as follows:

25,000 square feet รท 2,600 square feet/ERU = 9.6 billing units or about 10 billing units

10 billing units x $5.40 per month/ERU = $54.00 per month.