Why is there a stormwater utility fee?
In 2017, Braintree was presented with new federal requirements to reduce the amount of polluted stormwater runoff it discharges to waterways. This means the Town is required to increase its investment in stormwater infrastructure without any funding by the federal government.
The Town formerly funded stormwater infrastructure through property taxes. One alternative for funding stormwater infrastructure is through a stormwater utility, which is based on user fees for the amount of hardened or impervious surface – such as parking lots, driveways, and buildings – that cause stormwater runoff on each parcel. Like water and sewer fees, a stormwater utility allocates cost based on the amount of use, in this case, the amount of stormwater being generated.
How is the fee calculated?
The stormwater rate for a given parcel of property is calculated based on the impervious area of the parcel. The amount of impervious area is measured in square feet. This square footage is converted to an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). One ERU is 2,780 square feet, and represents the impervious area of a typical single-family home in Braintree. The rate for 1 ERU is $15/quarter ($60/annually).
All single-family homes, regardless of actual impervious area, have a rate of 1 (one) ERU. Multi-family residential properties and nonresidential properties pay $15/quarter per ERU on their parcel.
What would the typical fees look like?
The proposed rate structure was finalized by the Mayor’s Office based on input collected during required public hearings. The total amount of funding to be raised was approved by Town Council in May 2018, with rate increases built in up to July 2022. Any future rate increase would require a vote of the Council. See the table below for sample fees based on the fee structure.
Quarterly Fees for Single Home Families
Flat Fee (quarterly)
Multifamily (1 to 3)
Quarterly Fees for Other Property Types
25% of lots pay less than
50% of lots pay less than
75% of lots pay less than
Fee for largest lot
Multi Family (4+)
$15/ res. unit