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If we have not already answered a question you might have about the street maintenance fee, you can submit your question through the Online Street Maintenance Questions Form.
Questions and Answers - View the questions that have been submitted and responses.
Communication Plan: The latest electronic information on the Street Maintenance Fee is located on the City’s website.
It includes an Online Street Maintenance Fee Estimator so residents and business owners can figure their estimated fees.
The City is also sending out the latest information utilizing Facebook and Twitter, and news releases. Residents without access to social media will be able to find handouts at all City Libraries. Information will also be included in utility bills as needed. A speaker’s bureau made up of members of the City staff will be available to speak to civic groups, community organizations, businesses, and neighborhood associations. Speaking engagements can be scheduled by contacting DeAnna McQueen at email@example.com or (361) 826-2640.
Frequently Asked Questions
Street Maintenance Fee
In an effort to provide you with the very latest street maintenance fee information, the City of Corpus Christi is providing the most frequently asked questions received by staff and Council members. We believe these details will assist residents and business owners in understanding the Street Maintenance Fee.
FAQS FOR THE SAMPLE BILL INFORMATION ON YOUR OCTOBER 2013 UTILITY BILL
HOW CAN I DETERMINE HOW THE ESTIMATED STREET MAINTENANCE FEE ON MY OCTOBER 2013 UTILITY BILL WAS CALCULATED?
- The Street Maintenance Fee charge is calculated as follows: ERU x Trip Factor x $ 5.38.
- If your land use code is Single Family Residential, your ERU is 1, your Trip Factor is 1 and your Street Maintenance Fee is a flat fee of $5.38 per month per house. Some properties are large enough to have more than one house. These properties will pay $5.38 per house on the property.
- If your land use code is Multi-family Residential (apartments, condos, townhomes, mobile homes, manufactured homes, & RV parks), your ERU is 1, your Trip Factor is 0.45, and your Street Maintenance Fee is a flat fee of $2.42 per dwelling unit. Individually metered units will pay $2.42. Master-metered properties will pay $2.42 times the number of dwelling units of the complex or community.
- A Non-Residential customer’s Street Maintenance Fee charge is calculated by dividing the Living Area Square Footage provided by the Nueces County Appraisal District by 1500 to get the ERU. Your land use designation has a specific Trip Factor . The Trip Factors have been capped at 5.78. A cap of 118,000 square feet is applied on a per water meter basis. If a single business’ square footage exceeds the 118,000 square foot cap and it has multiple meters, it is treated as a single metered location.
- A Non-Residential customer may call the Utility Business Office to find out what their ERU is or they may visit the NCAD website to determine their Living Area Square Footage and can calculate their ERU by dividing the Living Area Square Footage by 1500.
- The 3-digit number that appears just before your land use designation in the “IMPORTANT INFORMATION” section of your utility bill is your Rate Table Code. Each land use designation has been set up as an individual entry in the City’s Rate Table. The rate for each entry is the $5.38 Street Maintenance Fee Rate times the Trip Factor for that land use. You can divide your estimated bill by your ERU to calculate your Rate Table rate. You can divide that number by $5.38 to get your Trip Factor.
WHAT IF I DON’T AGREE WITH MY STREET MAINTENANCE FEE CHARGE?
- City Council has approved a process whereby citizens may appeal their Street Maintenance Fee.
- Only certain aspects of the fee calculation are appealable. For more information regarding the appeals process, you can go to the Street Maintenance Fee Corrections and Appeals web page or you may complete the attached Appeal Form and either email it or print and bring it to the Utility Business Office on the first floor of City Hall.
- Some residential customers may qualify for a Low Income Discount. If you think you may qualify, you can complete the form and turn it in to the Utility Business Office at City Hall (1201 Leopard St.). Qualified residents will receive a 50% discount on their Street Maintenance Fee ONLY for a one-year period and must be approved annually.
WHY IS MY LAND USE DESIGNATION TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT MY BUSINESS REALLY IS?
- The City is basing its land use designations on information in the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation Manual Edition 9 (“Manual”). City Council approved the use of 129 Non-residential land use categories from this Manual.
- All Non-Residential properties must be assigned to one of the 129 land uses.
- If a property has a land use that is not one of the 129 approved categories, the City must determine which of the 129 categories has a traffic pattern most closely matching the land use of the property.
WHY AM I RECEIVING A STREET FEE BILL WHEN I DON’T TAKE ANY CITY SERVICES?
- Any property within City Limits which is not exempt and which has living area square footage as defined by the Nueces County Appraisal District is eligible to be charged the Street Maintenance Fee.
- Some properties in the far northwest side of town or on the north end of Padre Island may not receive City services, but are subject to the Street Maintenance Fee. Additionally, some properties appear to be occupied, but may not have a utility account.
- Where a benefitted property exists which does not otherwise take City services, the property owner will be billed for the Street Maintenance Fee.
- If there is an occupant other than the property owner using the property, the property owner may request that the Street Maintenance Fee account be placed in that occupant’s name.
WHEN CAN I FILE AN APPEAL?
- The City is prepared to start accepting and processing appeals beginning October 1, 2013.
- There is no guarantee an appeal will be approved. The City will process the appeal request and will notify you if the appeal is approved or denied.
- The City’s goal is that many appeals will be processed before citizens must start paying the Street Maintenance Fee. However, this may not be possible. If a citizen has filed an appeal and the appeal has not been processed by the time billing commences, the citizen is still responsible for paying the fee. If an appeal is approved, the citizen will receive a refund or credit to their utility bill reflective of the adjustment.
WHEN WILL I HAVE TO START PAYING THE STREET MAINTENANCE FEE?
- As indicated on your October utility bill, the City will begin charging the Street Maintenance Fee on January 1, 2014.
WHAT IS A STREET MAINTENANCE FEE?
- It is a monthly fee which will be collected from Corpus Christi residents and business owners and which will appear on their monthly utility bills.
- The revenue generated is designated to pay for increased City street maintenance.
- The fee is one part of a four part Street Improvement Plan which is designed to improve street conditions through reconstruction, rehabilitation, street maintenance, and policy changes.
WHY IS A STREET MAINTENANCE FEE NEEDED?
- An oil bust in the 1980’s led to initial cuts in street department funding which over the years, continued to decline relative to the total General Fund budget.
- During that time, the percentage of funds allocated to the City street maintenance department dropped from 10 percent to 5 percent of the budget.
- The street department funding has not increased enough to cover increasing costs to continue to properly maintain the City’s growing street system.
- Street maintenance has been deferred to the point that 50% of our City streets are considered to be in “Fair to Good” condition and 50% are considered to be in “Poor” condition.
IS THE FEE LEGAL?
- The City of Corpus Christi is a home rule city.
- The Texas Constitution gives the governing body of a home rule city the power to adopt any ordinance that is not limited by or inconsistent with, the Constitution or State law.
- The Texas Constitution and statutes are silent as to street maintenance fees. Thus a home rule city has the authority to enact such a fee.
- The street maintenance fee is a regulatory fee.
- Home rule cities have full authority, if not a duty, to enact reasonable regulations for the safety and welfare of their citizens.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF STREET MAINTENANCE?
- Preserves streets in good condition
- Provides smoother road conditions
- Extends street service life
- Minimizes street life cycle costs
- Maintains or improves roadway safety and mobility
- Increases ability to withstand traffic stresses
- SAVES MONEY!
WHAT IS STREET PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE?
- Preventative maintenance is a planned strategy of cost-effective treatments to an existing roadway system which preserves the system, slows down future deterioration, and maintains or improves the functional condition of the system.
- Preventative maintenance extends service life of structurally sound pavements and is typically applied to pavements in good condition having significant remaining service life.
- Preventative treatments include seal coating, asphalt overlays, and crack sealing.
WHAT DETERMINES WHETHER A STREET IS A CANDIDATE FOR THE PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM?
- City streets are inspected and assessed using an industrial, nationally recognized standard - Micro-Paver Pavement Management system.
- 20 pavement distresses (type, severity and quantity) are used to determine a Pavement Condition Index, or PCI, for each section of street.
- Streets with PCI in the range of 56 to 100 are considered to be in fair to good condition and are candidates for preventative maintenance.
DOES BEING A CANDIDATE FOR THE PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM MEAN THAT MY STREET WILL HAVE MAINTENANCE?
- All candidate streets will be evaluated for overall street condition including: curb & gutter, ADA improvements, drainage and utilities.
- The evaluation may cause a street to be considered for other improvements such as reconstruction or utility repair.
IS THE FEE GOING TO REPAIR MY STREET?
- The fee is for maintenance of good streets only, not repair of streets in poor condition.
- Repairs through reconstruction or rehabilitation for arterials and collectors will be done through bonds.
- Reconstruction and rehabilitation for residential and local streets is another part of the plan for which the financing mechanism has yet to be determined.
WHAT AREAS OF THE CITY WILL BE UNDERGOING MAINTENANCE WORK?
- Work will be done on good streets throughout the City (residential and arterials) and will be scheduled on a systematic 7 year cycle work plan.
WHAT HAPPENS TO STREETS WHICH HAVE A LOWER PCI?
- Streets with PCI in the range of 0 to 55 are considered to be in poor condition and are candidates for reconstruction and rehabilitation.
- Poor streets will be considered under a future bond program since extensive reconstructive work is needed utilizing a different funding mechanism. The City is working to update lists for potential future bond proposals.
HOW IS THE FEE CALCULATED?
Active water customers are assigned to one of two main categories; RESIDENTIAL and NON-RESIDENTIAL. Residential is comprised of both Single Family Residential and Multi-family Residential. Multi-family includes all attached housing (apartments), mobile homes, manufactured homes, and RV parks. Non-Residential is the commercial and industrial sectors.
- RESIDENTIAL: The fee for residents is a $5.38 monthly flat rate per dwelling unit for Single Family Residential and $2.42 per dwelling unit for Multi-family residences.
- NON-RESIDENTIAL: The calculation of the street maintenance fee is (square footage/1,500) times the trip factor, times the $5.38 base rate per meter. There is a cap for buildings larger than 118,000 square feet per meter. There are 129 ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers) trip factor categories based on land use. The trip factor is capped at 5.78. Single businesses having multiple meters for which the total billable square footage exceeds the 118,000 cap will be billed as if they had a single meter.
- Fee = (SF/1500) x TF x $5.38 per meter
WHY IS THE MULTI-FAMILY CHARGE LESS THAN THE SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL CHARGE?
- Residential Street Maintenance Fee charges are being charged on a per dwelling unit basis.
- The Multi-family Residential charge is less than the Single Family Residential charge because the trip factor for Multi-family is less than that of Single Family on a per dwelling unit basis.
- Trip factors are based on information provided in the Institute of Traffic Engineers Trip Generation Manual (Edition 9).
- The ITE Trip Generation Manual (Manual) is the industry standard source for trip count information by land use.
- City Council has approved use of the Manual for the purpose of determining trip factors.
- The fee applies to properties with active water meters and benefitted properties within the City Limits that do not otherwise pay utilities.
- Government-owned properties, public schools, the hospital district, chartered schools and the Regional Transportation Authority are exempt from the fee. (RTA contributes annually for street maintenance.)
WHY DO NON-PROFITS HAVE TO PAY?
- Non-profit agencies are still benefitted properties and are, therefore, subject to the fee.
WHY NOT USE PROPERTY TAXES?
The state limits local governments from approving more than a three cent property tax increase each year which leaves the City with several options:
- The presiding City Council could raise taxes every year for four years to reach the 12 cents needed, delaying the $15 million in funds to launch the street maintenance program resulting in more streets falling into disrepair.
- The City Council could let voters decide through a referendum vote for a 12 cent tax increase. If approved, the additional 12 cents could be earmarked for street maintenance work.
- The City Council has discussed putting a referendum to voters, but for now, has approved a Street Maintenance Fee.
WHY CAN’T THE CITY USE A GAS TAX OR VEHICLE REGISTRATION TO GET THIS MONEY?
- There is currently no mechanism for charging something similar to a street maintenance fee through gas taxes or vehicle registration.
- These options are being addressed by the City, but require legislative action in Austin.
WHY ARE THE STATE AND CITY EXEMPT?
- Taxing entities or schools which are financed through public funds are exempt because the fee would be passed on to taxpayers, which would result in taxpayers paying the street maintenance fee twice: once for their home or business and then again through their property taxes.
WILL RESIDENTS WHO DON’T OWN VEHICLES HAVE TO PAY?
- Yes, even if you do not own a vehicle or drive the streets, all residents receive goods and/or services that generate travel on our City street system.
WHAT IF I DO NOT AGREE WITH HOW MY FEE IS ESTIMATED?
- The City Council has approved ordinances which established an appeals process and a Street Maintenance Fee Board of Appeals. Under the appeals process, you can contest your residency status (inside or outside City Limits), active water meter status or other account related items. A Non-residential customer may also contest the number of meters for their property. Additionally, Non-residential customers may appeal the square footage living area used to calculate their fee, the land use designation used to assign a trip factor, or whether they are a single business with multiple water meters for which the living area square footage exceeds the cap of 118,000. Go to the Corrections and Appeals web page for more information regarding the Street Maintenance Fee corrections or appeals.
WILL THE MONEY ONLY BE USED FOR STREET MAINTENANCE?
- Yes, the City Council voted to create a dedicated Special Revenue Fund (Street Fund) in order to insure street funds are only used on street expenses.
HOW LONG WILL IT BE IN EFFECT?
- The ordinance includes a sunset or expiration for the fee in 10 years.
HOW MUCH MONEY IS ESTIMATED TO BE RAISED BY THE STREET MAINTENANCE FEE?
- The street maintenance fee will raise an estimated $11.4 million annually and will be used only for the Street Preventative Maintenance Program.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T PAY?
- Failure to pay the street maintenance fee could result in discontinuance of customer utility services.
- Delinquent customers may be subject to a lien placed on their properties.
WHAT OTHER TEXAS CITIES HAVE STREET MAINTENANCE FEES?
- Both Austin and Bryan have had similar fees in place since the 1990’s.
Return to the Street Maintenance Planning Introduction page.