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Lynn Haven Adopts Stormwater Assessment; Tax Bills To Go Up

A flooded neighborhood shows standing water and two homes with water surrounding them.
City of Lynn Haven
Flooding in Lynn Haven during Tropical Storm Fred on Aug. 16, 2021.

Lynn Haven residents’ tax bills will soon go up to pay for stormwater costs.

For years, residents have complained about frequent flooding in their neighborhoods. After a public hearing on Tuesday night, city commissioners adopted a special assessment to fund its annual stormwater budget.

The new increase will take effect Oct. 1.

An owner’s annual assessment is calculated by multiplying a property’s “equivalent billing unit” by roughly $139. One unit equals 3,900 square feet of impervious property, such as a house or a driveway. The same amount of vacant land counts as 0.28 EBU or $40.54 per 3,900 square feet.

Commissioner Brandon Aldridge made the motion to adopt the new assessment “for all the people that are flooding.”

Residents who spoke at the public hearing expressed concerns about getting a higher tax bill in the mail and the frequent stormwater overflow in their neighborhoods.

Last year’s stormwater budget was about $1.9 million dollars. The city’s stormwater utility fee collected $358,200 in revenues. The new assessment is expected to bring in $1.2 million — making up most of the difference.

Those dollars will cover the costs of mitigating flooding during heavy rains and pay for small-scale stormwater projects. During Tropical Storm Fred, for instance, city workers dug ditches and removed stormwater from yards and ditches.

The city is pursuing state and federal grant funding to cover the costs of stormwater infrastructure projects.

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.