Stormwater Fees

Purpose of the Fee

A stormwater fee has been enacted to provide resources for an unfunded federal program that protects streams and lakes from pollution. The money raised will only be used on this stormwater program. There is no planned increase or change in the rate.


In 2003, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) required Shelby County to get a permit for discharges of stormwater from its storm drainage system. The storm drainage system consists of all the gutters, ditches, inlets, pipes, detention ponds, headwalls, and other such system components that transport rainwater to the state’s lakes and streams.

This permit requires Shelby County to perform six separate controls measures to prevent pollution and other contaminants from entering the waters of the state. Since the permit was required and came with no corresponding funding from the state, the stormwater permit has been called an unfunded mandate. Shelby County has been performing the required tasks using personnel and money from the general fund, which primarily comes from individual resident taxes.

Payment Structure

The following stormwater payment rates should generate approximately $700,000 that covers about 42,000 properties, 310 square miles, 4,000 miles of open ditches, 300 miles of storm drainage pipes, all county-maintained ponds, and 14,000 structures (such as inlets, manholes, and headwalls):
  • $1.50 for improved residential lots and individually-metered apartments
  • $2.50 for all improved non-residential lots