How was the stormwater utility fee established?

The federal government requires the city to designate a stable and continuous source of funds to cover the costs associated with stormwater management. As with other such expenses, the city has to pass the costs on to its residents (this is allowed by State of North Carolina Regulations).

The city has 2 tools to fund services it provides residents: fees and taxes. Property taxes are based on the value of a property (which is not an accurate indicator of how much stormwater flows off of that property). A utility fee allows the city to bill properties based on the amount of runoff they create. In addition, the city completed a study that determined it would be less expensive, for both the city and its residents, to distribute stormwater related expenses as a utility fee rather than an increase in property taxes. This fee became part of the city’s municipal ordinance in 1994. The ordinance was updated in 2004, 2009 and again in 2010.

City Municipal Code and North Carolina Regulations

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1. How was the stormwater utility fee established?
2. Why isn’t the stormwater utility fee included in my property taxes?
3. Do other cities have stormwater utility fees?
4. Isn't this essentially a tax on rain water?
5. Is the stormwater utility fee influenced by the amount of rain that falls?