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Hillsborough commission kills stormwater fee hike for 2022

A commission majority allocates $2.4 million from the federal American Rescue Plan to cover the one-year break.

TAMPA — The Hillsborough Commission, after approving higher utility and trash rates earlier this year, decided Wednesday a $5-per-home increase in the stormwater fee was too much for the public to swallow.

On a 4-3 vote, the commission agreed to kill the fee increase for the coming year and allocate federal COVID-19 relief dollars to cover the $2.4 million the stormwater assessment increase would have generated.

The assessment raises $31.3 million a year and the county uses that money, plus $20 million from its general revenue budget, to replace pipes, clean ditches, repair culverts and make other improvements to curb potential flooding.

“We know that is not enough,” County Administrator Bonnie Wise said about the stormwater budget.