ORLANDO, Fla. — On Monday, Orlando City Council voted to increase stormwater fees after a lengthy debate from council members and a long public comment from residents.

What You Need To Know

  • The stormwater fees have been in place since 1989, but haven't been increased since 2008, according to a city spokesperson 

  • The new rate will go into effect in January 

  • City officials say the rate increased is necessary due to rising costs, and also comes as Orlando faced historic flooding after recent hurricanes 

  • Around 30 residents at the meeting expressed their disapproval of the rate increase

Orlando city officials say the utility has not increased since 2008, however over the years the cost to operate has grown. In addition, the community has seen unprecedented rainfall in previous hurricane seasons.

“(Without this fee increase) it opens up the possibility for more flooding, definitely,” said Corey Knight, City of Orlando Director of Public Works. “If we can’t keep up with our maintenance aspect. If we can’t replace some of the older infrastructure we have, the older storm pipes around here, that leads to the degradation of some of those pipes.”

Officials say the fee helps pay for general maintenance, like street sweeping roughly 81,517 miles of area throughout the year. However, they say the money also goes towards major overhaul projects.

“We also have a capital improvement program that’s factored into this rate, the rate increase,” said Knight. “There’s one specifically that’s kicking off on Delaney (Avenue). It’s a larger project along there that’s going to be going on."

According to a spokesperson with the City of Orlando, the Stormwater Division maintains the water quality of 80 lakes, maintains 84 retention ponds, and 86 control ditches.

The stormwater fee is dependent on the size of each owner’s parcel. Keep in mind, the rate is calculated by the impervious area square footage of the lot, which includes things like patios or driveways, not just the square footage of your home. The public works department says the average 2,000 square foot impervious lot currently pays about $10 a month for the fee.

However, under the ordinance, the fee increases each year until fiscal year 2028. From 2025 to 2028, the rate will grow again by about 57.5 percent. 

Under the ordinance, the rate for homeowners is capped at 2,500 square feet, at $202.30 a year in 2025 and $318.62 in 2028. However, some local businesses can expect to pay thousands of dollars more a year.

One local business owner says he expects his fee to go from about $1,500 a year to about $3,300 a year by 2028.

“Inflation is too high to impose this right now. People can’t afford to go to the grocery store, and you’re going to raise this over 100 percent,” said Mike Alderman, a local business owner.

Alderman says while he is zoned in the city, his neighbor is zoned in Orange County.

“I can walk out of my driveway, walk into the county driveway. The gentleman across the street, (who has) three times the amount of my property, pays $600 a year. His hasn’t went up, isn’t going up," he said.

The City of Orlando has compiled a list of projected fee increases for each homeowner. Homeowners can see their increase by clicking here. To search the document, hit control + F on your computer and type in your parcel ID.

Homeowners can identify their parcel ID by visiting the property search tab through the Orange County Property Appraiser’s website. Search your address, and the parcel ID is the 15-digit code located underneath your address.