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No, the stormwater fee is a utility like your gas, electric, or water/sewer utility.
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State and federal governments have passed new regulations that require Clemmons to take steps to reduce polluted stormwater runoff. This is an unfunded mandate and adequate funding for the stormwater program is required by the state. The fee will also enable the Village to address some of the Village’s stormwater quantity problems. The stormwater fee will be charged to all properties with impervious surfaces and is a reliable and equitable source of funding for the program.
Stormwater runoff is the rain or melted snow that runs off all natural and developed surfaces. Streets, rooftops, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks and other developed surfaces do not permit the land to absorb stormwater and so runoff is increased dramatically from these areas. Stormwater collects pollutants from these hard surfaces and carries them to our streams, lakes and the Yadkin River, impacting the quality of these bodies of water and even our drinking water.
Any surface that does not readily absorb water and impedes the natural infiltration of water into the soil. Common examples include roofs, driveways, parking areas, sidewalks, patios, tennis courts, concrete or asphalt streets, crushed stone and gravel surfaces.
The stormwater fee is based on an Equivalent Residential Unit. An ERU was determined by taking a sampling of residential properties, impervious area on each was measured and a typical impervious area was calculated. 1 ERU = 3,952 square feet.
Single family residential homes are now based on a tiered billing system:
Billable Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) fees are $90 per ERU. All nonresidential properties, which includes, but not limited to Multi-Family, Commercial, Government, Non-Profit, Industrial etc. are billed a flat rate of $90 per ERU of impervious area on their property. One ERU is equal to 3952 sq. ft. So, for example if a Nonresidential site has 1- 3952 sq. ft., they will be billed one (1) ERU. If a non-residential site has 3,953 or greater sq. ft., of impervious area, they will be billed the appropriate ERU’s associated with the impervious area on the property. These fees are billed on the annual County Property Tax Assessment.
All properties within the village that have impervious surfaces contribute to stormwater runoff and therefore should pay their share of the costs of the program.
Two or more dwellings on one parcel is considered multi-family residential and total impervious area will be measured and the number of ERUs calculated.
The only properties exempt from the stormwater fee are those that have less than 1 square foot of impervious surface area. All properties with impervious surface will be billed.
A property owner who believes there is an error in the impervious surface area calculations may appeal to the manager by way of a sealed survey from a NC licensed surveyor showing all impervious areas on the property.
The billing cycle is on an annual basis and included with the Forsyth County property tax bill as a separate fee. The bill will be sent out in August. Fees are due September 1 and past due January 5, the same as property taxes. Stormwater fees are payable to the Forsyth County Tax Collector and not collected by the Village of Clemmons or its personnel.
The Forsyth County Tax Collector has the authority to charge delinquent fees and interest to the bill. The collection procedures include garnishment of wages.
Typically, mortgage companies will pay from the mortgagee’s escrow account all fees and taxes that are charged to a property. It would be appropriate for each property owner to compare their copy of the tax bill to the annual statement provided by the mortgage company to ensure that all fees (including stormwater fees) and taxes are properly paid.