The Stormwater Service District tax is a funding mechanism, independent of the general fund, that enables the county to reinvest in its aging infrastructure. It was established by the Board of Supervisors in 2010 to address more stringent regulatory requirements. The current tax is $0.0325 (three and one quarter cents) per $100 of assessed real estate value.
The Board adopted a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that states, "Stormwater staff evaluated the required future funding levels to meet the increasing federal and state regulatory requirements pertaining to the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit, and state and federal clean water mandates associated with the Chesapeake Bay. Staff developed and recommended a long term funding and staffing plan that was presented to the Board's Environmental Committee."
The Stormwater Service District includes Fairfax County and the towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna. Federal government property and the City of Fairfax are excluded from the district.
Stormwater funding is essential to protect public safety, preserve property values and support environmental mandates, such as those that protect local streams and the Chesapeake Bay.
- Water quality improvements such as stream stabilization and rehabilitation. Completed projects may be seen at Stormwater Improvement Projects.
- Safety upgrades and lifecycle maintenance of dams; repair and replacement of underground pipe systems, surface channels, and vegetated practices; flood mitigation and site retrofits.
- Increased public education efforts and stormwater monitoring activities.
- Improved infrastructure reinvestment cycles, and increased capital project implementation to responsibly manage stormwater runoff within Fairfax County, while maintaining compliance with increasing regulatory and operational requirements.
Much of Fairfax County developed from the 1950s through the 1970s, prior to requirements for stormwater controls. Prior to fiscal year 2010, the county's stormwater management program had been supported by the general fund.
Since the passage of the Clean Water Act, stricter state and federal regulations have been enacted to address the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff that flows to the Chesapeake Bay.
In addition, there are more than 1,500 miles of county-owned stormwater pipes and conveyance channels valued at more than one billion dollars. Approximately 930 miles of these pipes are more than 40 years old. As the system ages, the county must reinvest in its stormwater infrastructure to help prevent flooding and environmental damage.
Valued at a half-billion dollars, Fairfax County is responsible for ensuring the proper operations and maintenance of nearly 2,500 stormwater management facilities. In addition, the county is tasked with ensuring private owners are performing regular maintenance of over 5,500 privately-maintained facilities.
Calculating the Stormwater Service District Tax
The amount of tax to be paid is calculated by dividing the assessed property value by 100 and then multiplying by the tax rate. Payments are collected twice a year in December and June.
If a property tax bill is sent directly to a mortgage company, the stormwater tax will be paid as part of the real estate tax payment.
Divide by 2 for bi-annual payments in December and June
For example, if your assessed property value is $500,000:
( $162.50 ÷ 2) = $81.25 per biannual payment
To find your assessed property value, visit Department of Tax Administration, ICARE.
How Funding is Used
To improve, operate and maintain the county's stormwater system:
- Routine maintenance includes repairing failed and failing stormwater systems and removing debris from the system to prevent flooding.
To meet state and federal regulatory requirements:
- The county owns and is required to inspect and maintain more than 1,500 miles of stormwater pipe and conveyance channels; 66,000 stormwater structures; and 1,300 stormwater management facilities.
- The county is required to perform annual inspections of approximately 3,000 private stormwater management facilities.
To meet state dam safety regulations:
- More stringent Virginia dam safety regulations have increased the requirements for more frequent inspections and performance standards for state-regulated dams.
To meet state and federal water quality requirements and standards:
- The Commonwealth of Virginia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency require localities to take significant additional steps to reduce the impact of urban stormwater runoff through the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. The county’s MS4 permit is authorized by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program, which was created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act.
- More information about the county's MS4 permit and annual reports may be seen at Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit.
For more information about the Fairfax County Stormwater Tax District, call the Stormwater Planning Division at 703-324-5500, TTY 711, or email SWPDmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.