How does a fee differ from a tax?
There are several differences between a fee and a tax. 

User equity – Fees are more proportional and give users more control over the amount charged.  With fees, larger users pay more, and smaller users pay less.  Users can also reduce the amount of the fee by taking steps to manage runoff. Property retaining 100% of their runoff can qualify for a 100% reduction in their fee. Also, properties, that drain 100% to a river or are 100% vacant may also qualify for a reduction in fee.

Dedicated funding – Fee revenue is segregated meaning the funds can only be used for the specific purpose for which they are collected. For example, stormwater fees can only be used for stormwater related costs.  In contrast, tax revenues are available for almost any use, and competition for tax dollars have historically resulted in little, if any, funding for stormwater-related items. 

Tax exempt property – Many properties in Moline such as property owned by the City, County, School District, Black Hawk College, and churches are granted tax exempt status.  Many of these tax exempt properties have large amounts of impervious area.  Assessing a Utility Fee on tax exempt properties ensures that all properties are assessed fairly based on their amount of runoff and does not create a system where the taxable properties subsidize the non-taxable properties.

Show All Answers

1. What is stormwater runoff?
2. What does “pervious” and “impervious” surface mean?
3. What is the stormwater utility fee?
4. How does a fee differ from a tax?
5. Why not use property taxes to pay for the storm sewer?
6. What services will be provided?
7. The City has already been doing the work.  Why can’t you continue the same way?
8. None of my water goes into the storm drains.  Why do I have to pay?
9. Can I get credits or discounts on my utility fee for installing a rain garden?
10. Does the City offer money or designs for rain gardens?
11. Why can’t I dump my grass clippings and lawn waste in the ravine anymore?
12. What can I do with my lawn waste?
13. My neighbor’s gutter downspouts and/or sump are directed to my property and are causing standing water in my yard. What can I do?
14. How do I report a clogged storm drain?
15. What can I do to help with stormwater issues?