Earlier this week, Gov. Murphy signed into law S-1073, which clarifies local government authority to create stormwater utilities and to collect related fees and other charges.
Under the new law, a municipality, county, or authority can establish by resolution or ordinance, as appropriate, a stormwater utility for the purposes of acquiring, constructing, improving, maintaining, and operating a stormwater management system. The stormwater utility is authorized to charge and collect reasonable fees and other charges to recover the costs of stormwater management.
The fees and charges are assessed against a real property owner and must be based on a fair and equitable approximation of the proportionate contribution of stormwater runoff from the real property. A partial fee reduction in the form of a credit is required to be available for any property that complies with the State or local stormwater management standards that were in place when the system was installed. Additionally, lands actively devoted to agricultural or horticulture are exempt from any fee or charge.
By providing local governments with a clear path for a dedicated funding source, this new law allows the issue of inadequate stormwater management to be properly addressed. This law puts New Jersey in a similar position as 41 other states across the country that currently have these types of utilities, and use a similar funding mechanism.
Section 19 through 20 of the new law take effect immediately and the remainder of the law take effect 180 days after the enactment–September 14, 2019.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, ext. 137.