Pearland City Council voted to put an item on the May 2022 ballot for the creation of a Municipal Drainage Utility and Stormwater Fee. If the ballot measure passes in the election, residents would be charged a monthly fee that would be allocated for drainage costs in the city.

As it reads on the agenda, the monthly charges would be $5 a month for all residential properties and a "$1.79 per 1,000 square [feet] of impervious coverage per month for all nonresidential properties." Council will discuss these amounts in more depth at the July 12 meeting.

Council was divided on the issue. Council members Tony Carbone and David Little voted against the item, as they did not want to potentially burden the citizens with another tax, they said.

“I struggle sitting next to conservative council members and we are discussing a new tax,” Carbone said. “This new fee will never go away; I am not supportive of it.”

The fee would cover drainage costs in the city, including drainage ditch and detention basin maintenance, drainage and floodplain mitigation, drainage improvements, and stormwater monitoring, according to the agenda packet. This maintenance is typically paid for by the general fund budget, however, the general fund is “highly competitive for funding requests,” according to the agenda item.

The remaining council members voted in favor of placing the item on the ballot; several argued the voters ought to have the opportunity to voice their support for or against the fee.

“A lot of residents have told me, particularly ones on the fixed income, are saying, ‘I have no idea where my taxes go,’” Council Member Adrian Hernandez said. “This is an option for them to vote for that transparency.”