The City of Sacramento is reducing drainage rates on commercial vacant parcels following a review of the drainage rate structure. The reduction will benefit 627 property owners of 1342 vacant parcels, saving them an estimated average of $956 per year. The City Council approved the revised rate structure on May 10.

“This is good news for property owners,” said City Manager John Shirey.  “It’s only fair to charge less for drainage on undeveloped parcels where water is retained as opposed to parcels paved with structures or paved areas which consistently contribute to runoff.”

The City Department of Utilities recently reviewed the rate structure for non-residential, vacant properties for fairness and consistency with industry best practices.

A vacant, undeveloped non-residential parcel generally contributes surface runoff to the City’s storm drainage system only during peak storm events. City staff recommended that the drainage fee for non-residential vacant parcels be reduced to a parcel drainage rate equal to that of City parks.

The new rates will be applied retroactively to vacant parcel accounts billed for storm drainage service since January 1, 2015.

The total initial amount to be credited to property owners is estimated to be $731,500. Going forward, property owners will save about $600,000 annually.

The City is in the process of bringing all commercial vacant parcels into the billing system, which will offset the revenue reductions.

For more information, visit the City’s Utilities rates page.