Stormwater service fee for homes

My fee

Illustration shows stormwater impacts of a house

The residential fee is $4/month and is applied to every detached home, townhouse, apartment and condo.

You will be billed for City stormwater services on your Guelph Hydro bill, much like your water/wastewater use. You will see a stormwater service fee line item added to your bill. The stormwater service fee is a City fee and is not connected to your electricity bill or electricity rates.

Tenants who pay for their own water/wastewater use will also pay the stormwater service fee. If the landlord pays for water/wastewater, they will pay the service fee.

How it works

The City’s stormwater service fee is based on the Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) model. An ERU represents the average number of square metres of impervious (hard) surface area on residential properties throughout the city.

The average hard surface for residential properties in Guelph is 188 square metres. Each individual residential unit pays a stormwater service fee based on one ERU.

Apartments and condos will be billed based on the number of units in the building. For example, if you own a low-rise apartment building with 10 units you will pay a residential stormwater service fee for each unit as:

$4/month x 10 units = $40 per month

The $4 per ERU fee for 2017 reflects an increase over the average amount households paid through property taxes in 2016 of $2.36 per month. The increase of $1.64 per month, or $19.68 per year, reflects the City’s plan to increase stormwater funding to a level that meets the annual costs of operating and maintaining the system.

Your property taxes

Although funding for stormwater services was removed from the City’s tax-supported budget for 2017, your property taxes might not go down. Municipal taxes are only one portion of your property tax bill. Property taxes are calculated based on:

  • The value of your property (your MPAC assessment)
  • Provincial taxes (to fund education)
  • Municipal taxes (to fund Police, Fire and Ambulance Service, roads and sidewalks, garbage collection, snow removal, transit, parks, recreation, and all other City programs and services)

The property taxes required to fund provincial and municipal services typically increase each year.

For example, if your property taxes were $300 a month in 2016, your new base rate for 2017, before approved changes, would be $297.64 a month:

$300 (2016 property taxes) – $2.36 (stormwater services) = $297.64 (2017 property tax base)

Your final taxes will be $297.64 a month plus any increases from provincial and municipal tax increases, and increases in your home’s assessed value.

If the total of these increases are greater than the $2.36 per month that was removed for stormwater services, your property taxes will increase in 2017.

Questions?

If you still have questions about the stormwater service fee, please email stormwater@guelph.ca or call 519-837-5604.