The city’s independent budget analyst has put out a report on how neighboring cities fund their stormwater programs. I wrote recently about the potential for the city to hike its stormwater fee to help plug its significant budget hole.

The report, which was produced in response to a question from Councilman Kevin Faulconer, looked at how other large California cities and coastal communities funded their stormwater programs needed to comply with federal and state regulations.

San Diego’s stormwater fee raises about $6 million annually. Most of the stormwater department’s $43 million budget comes from the general fund, which pays for the city’s day-to-day expenses.

The IBA report found that all 12 cities they studied, except for Long Beach, “have dedicated funding sources other than the General Fund.”

Those funding methods varied, the report noted:

Some cities utilize dedicated storm water or storm drain fees, while other cities rely on surcharges to water and sewer utility bills. A few cities have used voter-approved bond proceeds, and others levy special taxes or assessments.

San Diego’s stormwater program includes $4 million this year for street-sweeping. The report notes that most cities include street-sweeping as part of their trash programs and pay for them through trash fees, something that can’t be done in San Diego because of the People’s Ordinance.


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