After the jump, a case for and against this new utility fee.
Point: a local critic says Richardson's proposed new drainage utility fee is a money grab. It's a way for the city to free up money in the General Fund for other uses.
What is about to change is the payment for these [drainage utility] fees, when paid through the water bill, will no longer be tax deductable [sic] and property taxes will not be going down with the change. This will free up more money out of the general fund to pay for other things.Source: Just My 2 Cents Worth.
Counterpoint: the City of Richardson says the new drainage utility fee is needed in addition to the spending previously budgeted out of the General Fund. More money is needed because of "mandates of the State's Stormwater Quality Management regulations."
Upon the City Council's direction, about $1 million of current General Fund expenses related to this program (engineering, enforcement, inspection, etc.) will be redirected and assigned to a new Drainage Utility Fund. Additionally, about $1.5 million in annual stormwater/drainage capital improvements will be funded.Source: City of Richardson.
This is where I should dig a little into past and future budgets in an attempt to ferret out who is right. But, having been down this road many times before (see Chicken Little), I suspect I know the answer without doing the digging. As this is being written *before* Monday night's City Council meeting, I'm hopeful the city itself provides the facts to settle the matter and save me the time and effort. By the time you're reading this, I hope we'll have the answer.