Many cities face opposition when trying to levy a tax or impose fees to pay for stormwater infrastructure. Los Angeles is a similar case, where nearly 200 residents spoke out on the county’s proposed stormwater parcel fee at a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors public hearing on Jan. 15.
With the fee, the Los Angeles flood control district could raise $290 million per year to improve water quality and prevent flooding, but it comes at a cost, especially to large properties, which generally place the largest burden on the stormwater system. Even the average of about $54 per year for single-family homes may be a burden for some homeowners. Due to opposition, county supervisors voted to keep the measure’s protest period open for another 60 days. Meanwhile, the supervisors recommended that the flood control district address complaints by setting a sunset date for the fee, creating a list of projects to undertake with the money collected, developing a stormwater fee credit program, and looking into other funding mechanisms.