Stormwater Assessment Fee….Call it a “driveway tax” not “special assessment”

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Updated 1/11/18

While reviewing the Lake County website on another matter, I noticed this tax that I knew nothing about.

http://www.lakecountyohio.gov/smd/StormwaterAssessmentFee.aspx

It appears that the Federal Government’s EPA issued an unfunded mandate to control local pollution.  So our county government, of course wanting to comply with ALL laws, charge the taxpayers on their semi-annual REAL ESTATE TAX bill under the “Special Assessments Project #19-901” a total of $21.00 or $42 annually.

“All residential properties are charged a flat rate based on an average impervious (hard surface) area of 3.050 square feet for each parcel. ….Therefore, you are charged $3.50 per month or $42.00 annually.”

“The amount of impervious land (hard surface) is used because it has been shown to be a good indicator of the amount of runoff that leads to pollution.”  The only hard surface we have leading to the street is our driveway.  Therefore, I conclude that I am being charged $42 per year because I have a hard surface driveway. (I wonder about those residents that do not have a hard surface driveway?)

I recently asked the director of the Stormwater Management Department what happens to all of the rock salt that is dumped on the roads by the Lake County Road Departments.  I thought that it might be collected by our vast network of storm sewers and somehow treated before it enters Lake Erie.  WRONG!

All of the residual rock salt dumped on the roads to protect us ultimately finds its way into Lake Erie, and the EPA knows about it, and accepts it.  So I need to know why do Lake County taxpayers have to pay a “driveway tax”.

Let’s see how much is collected from taxpayers, and what is done with the money.

Stay tuned…we will be asking some questions and reporting back to you.

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