Stormwater drainage improvements on the ballot


Cedar Park voters will decide on a ballot measure that would divert an eighth of a cent from the city’s Type A Sales Tax Fund to the general fund to help pay for stormwater drainage and related street repairs in this Saturday’s local election.

The measure would provide for a stormwater drainage program by reallocating one quarter of the revenue, or what amounts to an eighth of a cent, that currently goes to the Type A fund. Existing sales tax and property tax rates would not be increased by the measure. 

The Type A fund provides for economic development activities. The H-E-B Center is one of the most notable ventures funded by the Type A fund. Others include the incentive programs that helped bring Dana Corporation and Voltabox to the area. 

Based on 2017 sales tax revenues, the reallocation would generate about $1.8 million for stormwater drainage and related street repairs in 2019. The Type A fund would be left with about $5.4 million to continue its economic development activities which include recruiting and retention of businesses.

Cedar Park currently pays approximately $675,000 per year for ongoing maintenance as well as state and federal compliance costs related to stormwater drainage. City-provided documents show that Cedar Park needs an additional $225,000 annually to cover program management costs and help oversee approximately $38 million in large-scale projects that will be funded in part by FEMA grants.

Those grant programs require the city to provide matching funds. The additional revenue generated by the reallocation would enable Cedar Park to apply for several grants to offset the cost of some of the large, high-priority projects.

According to a city-provided document, Cedar Park has explored other options to pay for additional stormwater drainage costs, including a drainage utility fee and special taxing districts. However, the measure on the ballot Saturday, May 5, would allow for program management costs without raising sales or property taxes or adding new fees.

If approved, the reallocation would go into effect on Oct. 1 for the fiscal year 2019.