Scott Alderfer nails it on his blog “streamhugger“. Scott is the chair of LMT’s EAC. There should be no taxpayer funded free rides for largescale developers when it comes to stormwater management. I don’t want to pay for poor design and I don’t want to make you pay for it. The entities who cause flooding and pollution are the ones who should pay. I am always for bottom up gov’t. This gives municipalities the tools we need to control flooding issues. The alternative is broad clumsy state or federal regulations which lead to unfunded mandates and strain on taxpayers.
I know there will be some people griping that this legislation somehow amounts to a new tax – a stormwater tax. Hogwash. One of the first things that any student of economics learns is TANSTAFL – the acronym standing for, “There Are No Such Things As Free Lunches.” Whether we’re talking lunch or stormwater discharge, if you are not paying for it yourself, someone else is paying for it.
In the case of a shopping center discharging huge volumes of stormwater runoff from their expansive parking lots during and following intense rain events, that property is sending way more stormwater runoff to the nearest body of surface water than the undeveloped land would have discharged. Therefore, that shopping center should improve their capacity to retain and infiltrate stormwater on their own property. If they chose to ignore that responsibility, the local taxpayers should not pay for infrastructure to mitigate that runoff, and they should not be inconvenienced by flash flooding from inadequate, private stormwater management facilities. Thus, a usage fee assessed by an MSA is exactly that – a fee for services rendered. Cutting off a property owner from a free lunch – in this case taxpayer subsidized stormwater management – is clearly NOT a tax.