Why is there a stormwater utility fee?
Braintree is facing new federal requirements to reduce the amount of polluted stormwater runoff it discharges to waterways. This means the Town is required to increase its investment in stormwater infrastructure without any funding by the federal government.
The Town formerly funded stormwater infrastructure through property taxes. One alternative for funding stormwater infrastructure is through a stormwater utility, which is based on user fees for the amount of hardened or impervious surface – such as parking lots, driveways, and buildings – that cause stormwater runoff on each parcel. Like water and sewer fees, a stormwater utility allocates cost based on the amount of use, in this case, the amount of stormwater being generated.
How is the fee calculated?
The basic “rate” for a stormwater fee is calculated by dividing the amount to be raised ($1,000,000) by the total area of impervious cover in the Town excluding public roadways (75,720,271 square feet). This equals approximately 41 cents per 100 square feet of impervious surface or $11.25 a quarter per Equivalent Runoff Unit (ERU). The ERU was calculated as noted below.
What would the typical fees look like?
The proposed rate structure was finalized by the Mayor’s Office based on input collected during required public hearings. The total amount of funding to be raised was approved by Town Council in May 2018. See the tables below for sample fees based on the proposed fee structure and a budget of $1,000,000.
Quarterly Fees for Single Home Families
Multifamily (1 to 3)
Quarterly Fees for Other Property Types
25% of lots pay less than
50% of lots pay less than
75% of lots pay less than
Fee for largest lot
Multi Family (4+)
$11/ res. unit
For more information on the Stormwater Utility, you can view the Braintree Stormwater Utility Fact Sheet.