SEU Frequently Asked Questions

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Stormwater Environmental Utility (SEU) FAQs

  1. Am I receiving a stormwater credit for our subdivision?
  2. Does everyone pay this stormwater assessment?
  3. Does this have anything to do with the septic problem on Phillippi Creek?
  4. How can I protest the new stormwater rates?
  5. How do I know if I live in a Flood Zone?
  6. How long have we been paying these assessments?
  7. I do not live on the creek or bayou, why do I pay for a Creek CIP assessment?
  8. I have a small house or one house on my lot. Why am I paying 1.7 ESU’s?
  9. I live in the city of Sarasota, why do I pay a county stormwater fee?
  10. I think my Proposed Notice or Tax Bill is incorrect, how can I get it fixed or checked out? Will I receive a new notice?
  11. My property is vacant, why am I paying an assessment?
  12. The mailing address on my bill is incorrect. How do I have it changed?
  13. What does Non-Ad Valorem mean?
  14. What if I receive a tax bill and I no longer own the property?
  15. What is an ESU?
  16. What is the SEU, and what do I get for this assessment?
  17. What is the difference between a service assessment and a capital improvement assessment?
  18. What is the Stormwater Fiscal Year?
  19. What is the stormwater maintenance area?
  20. What is this Proposed Notice and when will I have to pay?
  21. Why am I paying this bill if you have never cleaned the ditches in front of my residence?
  22. Why do I have two Stormwater fees?

  

Am I receiving a Stormwater credit for our subdivision?

If you have questions about the eligibility for assessment credits contact Stormwater at 941-861-5000.

 

Does everyone pay this Stormwater Assessment?

The Stormwater Utility-Wide geographic service area is defined as, all of the unincorporated County and the City of Sarasota, excluding the cities of North Port, Venice and the Town of Longboat Key. All Parcels within the service area are considered customers because all parcels have the capacity to generate stormwater runoff. See the Utility Service Area Map.

 

Does this have anything to do with the septic problem on Phillippi Creek?

No. Sarasota County Utilities Department Customer Service 941-861-6790. 

 

How can I protest the New Stormwater Rates?

You may attend the Board of County Commissioners Budget Hearings scheduled in September. 

 

How do I know if I live in a Flood Zone?

Your casualty insurance agent has access to this information.

To view a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that you can determine your flood zone, vist the FEMA Flood Map Service Center or use the Sarasota County Flood Zone Locator Map.

If you still need assistance, contact the Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for a Flood Zone Determination from Planning and Development Services.

 

How long have we been paying these assessments?

Ordinance No. 89-177 originally established the Sarasota County Stormwater Environmental Utility and initiated the collection of Stormwater Service Assessments in 1992.

Service and CIP Assessments - Yearly: Assessment paid for new FY (October 01 to September 30) on your November Tax Bill.

 

I do not live on the creek or bayou, why do I pay for a Creek CIP assessment?

You do not have to live on the creek to receive a basin assessment. You only have to live within the basin area.
Your runoff drains ultimately to that specific creek or bayou.

 

I have a small house or one house on my lot. Why am I paying 1.7 ESU’s?

The ESU value is applied to single family residential parcels in a three tier system, based on lot size. These parcels are either small, medium or large with varying ESU values assigned.

 Developed Residential Property
 Tier  Lot size  ESU  FY2018 $
 Small  Less than 8,100 square feet  0.9  $81.90
 Medium   8100 square feet to 14,600 square feet  1   $90.65
 Large  Greater than 14,600 square feet   1.7  $151.94 


    

I live in the city of Sarasota. Why do I pay a County Stormwater fee?

The Utility, through an Interlocal Agreement between the county and the city of Sarasota, accepted responsibility for the maintenance of the city of Sarasota in 1991. Sarasota County is now performing all stormwater maintenance work for the residents of the city of Sarasota.

 

I think my Proposed Notice or Tax Bill is incorrect, how can I get it fixed or checked out? Will I receive a new notice?

If you feel that there might be an error in there bill you can contact our department. We will verify all information and make any corrections necessary. The Tax Bill in November will reflect these changes. You will not receive a new notice. 

   

My property is vacant. Why am I paying an assessment?

All Parcels within the service area are considered customers because all parcels have the capacity to generate stormwater runoff. Undeveloped lots are assessed at lower ESU’s because they have no impervious surface and generate less runoff. The ESU value is applied to vacant residential parcels in a three tier system, based on lot size. These parcels are either small, medium, or large with varying ESU values assigned.

Vacant Residential Property

 Tier

 Lot size

ESU

FY10 $

 Small

 Less than 8100 square feet

0.3

$33.99

 Medium

 8100 square feet to 14600 square feet

0.4

$40.43

 Large

 Greater than 14600 square feet

1

$90.65

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mailing address on my bill is incorrect. How do I have it changed?

The mailing address on your tax bill is certified to the Tax Collector by the Property Appraiser.  If your mailing address differs from that shown on your tax bill, you may note your change on the Property Appraiser's website. Complete an address change form for your bill and submit it electronically. You can also contact the Property Appraiser at (941) 861-8200.

 

What does Non-Ad Valorem mean?

It is an assessment that is not based on the value of the property. It is for a particular service, sometimes called a “user fee.” Factors such as contribution to the drainage system are used to determine stormwater non-ad valorem assessments.

 

What if I receive a tax bill and I no longer own the property?

If you received a real estate tax bill for property you no longer own, please forward it to the new owner or return it to this office.  If you received a tangible personal property tax bill for property you no longer own, but you did own on January 1, 2007, you are still responsible for paying the taxes.  If you did not own the tangible personal property on or after January 1, 2007, you need to contact the Property Appraiser immediately at (941) 861-8200.

 

What is an ESU?

The Sarasota County Stormwater Environmental Utility currently assesses its customers based on Equivalent Stormwater Units (ESU’s) that are based on the effective impervious area of the average single-family parcel. Based on statistically valid sampling of Single Family Developed Parcels, an “ESU Value” of 3,153 square feet was derived from a medium Net Impervious Area and Net Pervious Area of the sampled parcels. The ESU Value is used to establish a basis for comparison of the relative runoff from the base ESU Value and from all parcels within the Stormwater Utility Area, including residential parcels, industrial/commercial parcels and condominiums. For more information: ESU Value Graphic.

 

What is the SEU, and What do I get for this assessment?

The Stormwater Environmental Utility (SEU) was established in order to provide a dedicated source of funding for the operation, maintenance, planning and improvement of the existing and future public stormwater system. Stormwater Assessments provide funding for a variety of drainage related services. The three components are:

Customer Service – Database management, cost of billing and collecting the assessments.

Operating and Planning – Basin master planning, engineering services, development reviews and administrative functions.

Maintenance Service – applies to the urbanized western portion of the Utility Service area. The Drainage Operations is responsible for canal maintenance, roadside ditch maintenance, mowing, hand cleaning, storm ponds, lakes, mitigation areas, pipe cleaning and replacement, debris removal, erosion engineering and permitting. For more information see the Stormwater History page.

 

What is the difference between a Service Assessment and a Capital improvement Assessment?

Serviced Assessments are imposed on property within the Utility area to fund Customer Service, Planning and all Maintenance. Non maintained basins are only assessed for customer service and planning. See Maps-Assessment Service areas.

Capital Assessments are imposed only within certain basins to fund the cost of stormwater improvements currently planned or under construction in those basins. This is known as the Capital Improvement Program, and assessments vary from basin to basin and from year to year. There are 26 separate drainage basins within Sarasota County. Currently there are 10 Capital Improvement Assessment programs in place. See Maps- Assessment CIP areas.

 

What is the Stormwater Fiscal Year?

The Stormwater Environmental Utility is the period commencing on October 1 of each year and continuing through the next succeeding September 30. (Example: November 2009 tax bills are for FY2010, October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010.)

 

What is the Stormwater Maintenance Area?

The Stormwater Maintenance Area includes the predominantly urbanized drainage basins. The Deer Prairie Slough, Big Slough, and Little salt creek basins are non-maintained. With the exception of Oak Ford, Bel-Air Estates, and Myakka Valley Ranches subdivisions, River Road, Venice Avenue and Border Road areas of the Myakka River Basin are also non-maintained. For more information, see the Utility Service Area Map.

 

What is this Proposed Notice and when will I have to pay?

This is a Proposed Notice of Non-Ad Valorem Assessment (special districts such as solid waste, fire/rescue, lighting districts and stormwater). This is not a bill. This notice shows the proposed non-ad valorem assessments by levying authorities. If the rates are adopted by the Board of County Commissioners in September these fees will appear on your usual tax assessment bill in November for the next Fiscal Year (FY10 – October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010). 

 

Why am I paying this bill if you have never cleaned the ditches in front of my house?

Are you in a maintenance area and paying the maintenance fee? If you live outside of the maintenance area you receive no service as they are not charged for maintenance.

Are you in a private subdivision or live on a private street? In recognition of the expense of maintaining and operating a private system, eligible properties receive an assessment reduction or credit. The amount of credit applied depends on the function and capacity of the stormwater system. The county maintains the runoff after it leaves the credited subdivision.

 

Why do I have two Stormwater fees?

1. To fund SEU service costs for Sarasota County: general fund, countywide to fund the stormwater
department’s three components: customer service, operating/planning service, and maintenance service.

 Service Assessment Component  FY2018 Rates Where Applied 
 Customer Service  $3.10/Parcel  Utility Service Area
 Operating/Planning 

 $23.10/ESU

 (.5 ESU minimum)

 Utility Service Area
 Maintenance Service  $64.45/ESU   Maintenance Service Area
 Total – 1 ESU   $90.65  

 

2. To fund SEU capital costs for: funds for particular basins for the improvements necessary beyond
maintenance to improve drainage to the adopted level of service for Sarasota County in order to alleviate structure and severe street flooding.

 Stormwater Basin Capital 
 Improvement rates below are per ESU
 FY2018 $
 Catfish Creek Stormwater Improvement  $75.00
 Woodmere Creek Stormwater Improvement  $50.17
 The funds collected from a particular area are spent exclusively in that area.