The Surface Water Assessment is a user fee for stormwater services in unincorporated Pinellas County, which addresses flooding, water quality, and the operation of county-owned stormwater systems. The assessment is based on each property's impervious area, which includes all of the hard surfaces that do not absorb water, such as parking lots and buildings. Impervious areas increase the amount of stormwater runoff, which is the cause of much of our flooding and pollution problems.
The Truth in Millage notice contains the assessment on your property for the upcoming fiscal year (October 1 - September 30). Read the Frequently Asked Questions for an explanation of how the funding will affect surface water management.
- What does unincorporated Pinellas County mean?
- Good to Know: Pinellas County Stormwater Management & Watershed
Adjustment and Mitigation Credit Policy
Pinellas County has developed an Adjustment and Mitigation Credit Policy that provides the details on adjustments and credits. This manual is intended as a guide for customers through the application process. Applications are now accepted year-round. Credits and adjustments will be prorated on the current year's tax bill based on date of approval. Please request a copy of the policy by emailing email@example.com.
Please call (727) 464-8759 for assistance with applications. If you would like to request a copy of our Mitigation Credit Calculator and/or Cost Benefit Analysis Calculators, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you qualify for an adjustment or a mitigation credit?
Adjustments are changes to correct a customer’s impervious square footage, either due to a change on the property, such as removing a deck, the presence of previous pavement, or to a correction made by the Property Appraiser’s Office on the parcel’s square footage information. All parcel’s impervious area information is either obtained through the Property Appraiser’s Office or through measurements of digital aerial photography. Property owners who think there may be an error on their assessment should also use this process for corrections.
Mitigation Credits may be offered for properties that can demonstrate through engineering plans and calculations that they reduce the burden to the County system (e.g. ponds or other stormwater features). Stormwater management systems are required to be properly maintained and in compliance with site plans and permits.
The proposed Surface Water Assessment is based on the estimated ground-level square footage or "footprint" of a house. This includes areas such as a garage or patio; it does not include multiple stories.
- Small home: $70.64 per year/ 0.6 ERU/ Range: 200- 1,575 sq. ft.
- Medium Home: $117.74 per year/ 1 ERU/ Range: 1,576 – 4,367 sq. ft.
- Large Home: $270.80/ 2.3 ERU/ Range: 4,368 – 10,000 sq. ft.
A typical Pinellas County single family detached, or individual mobile home will be assessed as 1 ERU (equivalent residential unit), which the equivalent to 2,339 sq. ft., the median impervious area for an unincorporated, single family detached home.
Extra-large proprieties (10,000 sq. ft.), condominiums, multi-family homes, and commercial properties, which include businesses and churches, are calculated based on the total impervious area of the property, including buildings and parking lots. Impervious areas are hard surfaces that prevent or inhibit stormwater from being absorbed into the soil.
Commercial Properties Assessments
Commercial property assessments are calculated based on the total impervious area of the property (by digitized aerial photography), including buildings, and parking lots. Impervious areas are hard surfaces that prevent or inhibit stormwater from being absorbed into the soil.
Properties may be eligible for up to a 75% reduction in their fee for onsite stormwater management facilities.
- Gas Station: $930.15 per year at 18,504 sq. ft. impervious areas at 7.9 ERUs
- Office Building: $2,366.57 per year at 40,050 sq. ft. impervious area at 20.1 ERUs
- Supermarket: $9,301.46 per year at 184.858 sq. ft. impervious area at 79 ERUs
- Failing Pipes:
- 24 miles of metal stormwater pipes in unincorporated Pinellas County are over 35 years old and are dangerously near the brink of failure.
- Collapse of any section of the stormwater drainage system can impact roadways, drinking water pipes, sanitary sewer pipes, electrical and communications cables, as well as private property.
- The county’s network of drainage ditches and canals are maintained on a 25-year cycle. Some of these waterways are so clogged up with debris and sediment that the flow of water is significantly reduced.
- Unincorporated Pinellas County stormwater maintenance statistics:
- more than 323 miles of ditches
- more than 390 miles of pipes
- Poor Water Quality:
- Over 70% of lakes, streams, and bays in Pinellas County fall below water quality standards.
- The state of Florida and the EPA require that standards be met, or Pinellas County could receive significant fines and penalties.
- Poor water quality has a significant impact on our quality of life and our tourism-based economy.
With sustainable funding, Pinellas County can implement cost effective preventative management programs:
- Repair the failing metal pipe network in 10 years.
- Establish a 10-year maintenance cycle for the open drainage network to increase flood protection for neighborhoods and improve water quality downstream.
- Avoid costly fines and penalties by implementing measures to reduce water pollution.
- A stormwater assessment on the property tax bill for residents of unincorporated Pinellas County only was established in 2013 as a way to fund surface water management activities.
- 65% of the total Pinellas County population already pays their municipality a fee for these services.