Impervious Surface Charge – Prop S

In April voters in the Metropolitan Sewer District will consider Proportion S, the addition of a stormwater capital rate based on the amount of impervious surface on a property. It’s projected to raise $30M per year to pay for projects to mitigate local flooding, erosion, and regional flooding. Each is a long and growing problem in the district left unaddressed for too long.

Below is a video produced by MSD explaining what they propose to fund and the nature of the charge.

Another Prop S in 2016 used a property tax to raise funds to address deferred storm sewer infrastructure maintenance. Since it was a property tax, tax-exempt property was left off the hook, it could be tax-abated, and TIFs could divert the tax. Worse it set up a subsidy stream for low-productivity land uses such as large parking lots and single-story buildings.

nextSTL – Vote NO on Prop S and Y April 5

This Prop S is the right thing to charge to pay for stormwater mitigation. It treats stormwater mitigation as a utility, applying its cost to all customers in proportion to their use, like electricity.

Instead of this huge disparity and subsidy created by the property tax that punishes high-productivity land uses, this Prop S would charge in proportion to the amount of impervious surface. The big box pictured above would pay approximately $180 per month and the mixed-use building about $27.

My only reservation is that it doesn’t replace the property tax. Otherwise it’s a slam dunk yes vote.

Ballot language – Shall the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) charge a Stormwater Capital Rate upon all customers, whether public or private, within the District based on the amount of impervious area on the real property of each customer for the purpose of providing revenue to fund capital improvements for flooding and erosion control, as set forth in the following schedule?
Single-family Residential (per month) for the following tiers,
Tier 1 (200-2,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) $1.42
Tier 2 (2,001-3,600 sq. ft. of impervious area) $2.25
Tier 3 (3,601-6,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) $3.74
Tier 4 (over 6,000 sq. ft. of impervious area) $6.84
Commercial and Multi-Family Residential (per month) $2.25 per 2,600 sq. ft. of impervious area.