Utility Fee

In 2000, the County established its first stormwater ordinance and an associated utility fee to pay for capital improvements and major initiatives. The utility fee is based upon the assumption that every property generates some stormwater runoff, dependent upon the amount of impervious area, and that stormwater runoff eventually reaches public drainage and public waterways. Therefore, every property owner contributes to stormwater runoff and should contribute to operation and maintenance of public infrastructure and required stormwater programs.

Stormwater utility fees are paid by each property owner in the unincorporated areas of Horry County. Similar to other service utilities, like electricity and water, the stormwater fee is based on how much your property uses the drainage system. Fees are based on the gross area and intensity of development of each property (i.e. impervious surfaces), which affect how much stormwater runs off the property and ultimately into the public drainage system. Impervious surfaces prevent or impede natural infiltration of stormwater into the soil and lead to concentrated stormwater runoff. Common impervious surfaces include rooftops, sidewalks, walkways, patio areas, driveways, parking lots, storage area, compacted gravel and soil surfaces, awnings and other fabric or plastic coverings.

Stormwater utility fees appear on real property tax bills and are collected by the County Treasurer with your property taxes. Billing is done by Equivalent Residential Units or ERUs that represent the average gross area and development intensity factor for a typical single family residential property. Single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums are charged a flat fee. Non-residential properties are charged according to a formula that accounts for each property's gross area and development intensity.

Examples of fees for common property types appear in the table below:

Property Type Property Gross Area Development Intensity Factor ERUs Monthly Feeper ERU Monthly/Annual Fee
Single-Family Residential 20,000 sq ft 0.25 1 $7.45/ERU $7.45/$89.40
Commercial 95,832 sq ft 0.40 7.67 $7.45/ERU $57.14/$685.70
Car Dealership 130,680 sq ft 0.95 24.82 $7.45/ERU $184.98/$2,219.73
Outlet Mall 936,540 sq ft 0.95 177.94 $7.45/ERU $1,325.67/$15,908.07
Church 204,732 sq ft 0.20 8.19 $7.45/ERU $61.01/$732.12
Undeveloped Large Tract with Marsh 6,629,832 sq ft with
3,220,000 sq ft credit for marsh
0.01(first 12 acres)
0.0001(remaining high ground)
1.050.58 $7.45/ERU $12.12/$145.49