How is a stormwater utility fee different from a tax?


A tax is a rate or duty, levied each year for the purposes of general revenue, regardless of the benefit accruing to the property or person taxed. Taxes require approval by the public through voting.

Utility Fees

A utility fee is a charge for a particular service and is a dedicated revenue source. In other words, the stormwater utility fee can only be used for stormwater management and capital improvements. The fee is also applied to otherwise tax-exempt entities such as:

  • Churches
  • Federally and state-owned properties
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Schools

Utility fees are not required by the Colorado State Constitution to be put to public vote. A utility fee is a fairer approach for funding our State and Federally mandated stormwater management.

Show All Answers

1. What is stormwater?
2. Why is it important to manage stormwater?
3. What services does the Stormwater Program provide?
4. What is the Stormwater Utility?
5. How much is the Stormwater Utility Fee?
6. What is Impervious Surface?
7. Who is assessed a stormwater utility fee?
8. What is the billing cycle?
9. Where is the Stormwater Utility Fee on my bill?
10. I believe the amount of impervious surface listed on my bill is incorrect. What can I do?
11. Why has the square footage of impervious area changed on my bill?
12. Is there a way to reduce my stormwater fee?
13. Why does my neighbor/friend pay more/less than I do?
14. No runoff from stormwater drains off my property; why do I have to pay?
15. Will using rain barrels to capture roof runoff reduce my Stormwater Utility Fee?
16. What is the size of the Stormwater Utility Service Area?
17. How much does the stormwater utility fee collect per year?
18. Is the stormwater utility fee tax deductible?
19. Who fixes clogged storm drains?
20. How are other communities addressing stormwater issues?
21. How can I learn more?
22. How is my impervious surface calculated?
23. How is a stormwater utility fee different from a tax?