Considering a new utility tax in DuPage County to help address flooding

These are the sorts of issues sprawl brings: the DuPage County Chairman discussed a new power available to the county to collect tax monies to address flooding.

Cronin told the audience at a Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon that flooding has long been a serious problem in DuPage.

In order to address it, he said, infrastructure improvements are needed. Right now, money for those projects comes from property taxes.

The proposed utility fee would charge property owners based on use. Those who have more stormwater leaving their land would pay a higher fee. Anyone with land producing less stormwater runoff would pay a lower fee.

Enacting a utility fee would make it possible to have charges for stormwater projects removed from the property tax bill, he said…

However, some residents already are opposing the idea. Last month, protesters demonstrated before a county board meeting and called the proposal a “rain tax.” Objections also are expected to come from schools, churches and other tax-exempt entities that would be required to pay the fee.

At this point, DuPage County is largely built-out (or the land is tied up in Forest Preserves) so dealing with flooding is largely taking place after the development has already happened. Thus, remediation can be quite expensive. I imagine residents and organizations would not like the idea of a new tax but flooding is a serious recurring issue.

On a related note about the cost and length of projects intended to combat flooding: here is a story about progress being made at constructing the world’s “largest reservoir of its kind in the world” in the south suburbs as part of the impressive Deep Tunnel.

A small crowd gathered Monday at the lip of the mammoth Thornton Quarry, all eyes fixed on an outcropping of dolomite nearly 300 feet below the shoulder of the westbound lanes of Interstate 80.

A ripple shot through the two-story rock formation, and it collapsed amid a small, dusty landslide. And so construction of the largest portion to date of the decades-in-the-making Deep Tunnel floodwater control system began with a bang…

When it goes online in 2015, the Thornton Composite Reservoir will hold 7.9 billion gallons of stormwater and sanitary sewer water from more than a dozen south suburban towns…

The 30-story-deep reservoir will fill like a regional bathtub during massive storms that threaten to overwhelm local sewer systems, a problem that has grown worse with more frequent and intense downpours in recent years and as development has replaced open, absorbent land with rooftops and pavement.

Dealing with flooding is not easy

0 thoughts on “Considering a new utility tax in DuPage County to help address flooding

  1. Pingback: Connecting McMansions to water runoff problems | Legally Sociable

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